Classic literature seamlessly transformed onto stage
THE SANTA CLARA
November 14, 2013
It can be difficult to recreate the feel and the drama of 19th-century England on a 21st-century college campus.
However, talented Santa Clara students did just that, performing the classic story “Pride and Prejudice.” While some elements of the tale are timeless, such as falling in love and dealing with miscommunication, much of the play is intertwined with the values and traditions of a society that existed over 200 years ago in a different country.
Sophomore Michael Standifer, who plays Mr. Bennet, explained how much effort it took to ready the cast.
“It was about six to seven weeks of straight rehearsal and a lot of that was just dialect coaching,” said Standifer. “We had to practice in British accents and no one in the cast was actually from England.”
Senior Gabrielle Dougherty, who plays Elizabeth Bennet, feels that it wasn’t all a struggle.
“Putting on a play is a collaborative, creative and intense process,” said Dougherty. “The best part about taking ‘Pride and Prejudice’ to production was growing as a character in a completely different world with the entire cast.”
However, when watching the production, it became apparent that the students really embraced these new roles. While the society within “Pride and Prejudice” may be far removed from today’s environment, the play can still captivate the audience.
Part of how the play resonated with the modern-day audience was the comedic aspect of the show. The phrase “Victorian-Age classic” is not usually associated with comedy, but for the majority of the performance, the audience was in fits of laughter.
“During the rehearsal process, it is easy to lose the fun and flare of British humor, but after opening night, it was apparent that our production created that excited and happy emotion,” said Dougherty.
Standifer really enjoyed the comedic aspect.
“The best part (of performing) is definitely when you deliver a line and you get that reaction from the audience,” he said.
In the audience, it was easy to tell that the actors enjoyed being onstage. Even when considering opening night jitters, the cast handled the performance well.
“When you’re rehearsing, you’re focusing a lot on yourself, but … especially after the first couple of acts, we started to get rolling into a groove, we started gelling incredibly well,” said Standifer.
Those who were involved in the production cannot overstate their thoughts on the cast.
“It has been an honor to be onstage with not only a group of talented actors, but a group of people I like to call my talented friends,” said Dougherty.
The play continues until Nov. 16. For a laugh and a trip back in time, be sure to go to Mayer Theatre and enjoy the show.
Contact Dan Hanower at firstname.lastname@example.org.