MU Theatre set to perform 'Pride and Prejudice' for final production

This weekend marks the final performances.
Ashley Lane / Graphic Designer

Passion and fury collide in the MU Theatre Department revival of “Pride and Prejudice,” the department’s final play of the season.

With corsets, dazzling chandeliers and old-world humor, “Prejudice” will be the same classic love story but has been cut down in length.

The play was adapted for the stage and directed by Theatre Department Assistant Professor Cheryl Black.

Black said she had no issues with altering the script, as she felt it would provide the audience a better opportunity to enjoy the production.

“I loved the previous adaptations to the stage but felt that I could try my own because I didn’t want anything crazy,” Black said. “I am introducing the story that Jane Austen wrote to all who don’t know who she is because it seems to be a piece people love and want to see, some for the first time, because this piece hasn’t been performed often at the university.”

Junior Naomi Lafond, who plays the role of Elizabeth Bennett, said through Black’s vision, the project maintains a newer feel college viewers will relate to.

“The most important thing for me when rehearsing was to not recreate Keira Knightley’s performance in the film version, which is something professor Black is adamant about us not doing,” Lafond said. “I want to keep my part fresh and interesting, so that people can still see the character as she is but make her more relatable.”

With the quicker pace for the play, different sets had to be set up simultaneously for scenes. Eight sets in total will be used during the production, depicting scenes in a park, a ballroom and the Bennett’s household.

Black said the sets transport the audience into a different time period.

“I feel that with the different sets, we are providing viewers time travel because those with vivid imaginations love going from place to place,” Black said. “The impression we want to give off is that we are truly transcending time and place with not only the sets, but the overall ambience of the production.”

Sophomore Peter Smith, who plays the role of Mr. Darcy, said the message of compassion and love is a reason to see the play because these topics are still relevant.

“People will look at this feature and call it old at first but see the relationship between Darcy and Elizabeth and relate instantly,” Smith said. “It is a testament to Jane Austen’s work that people still get affected from her words because they are simply true observations of the dynamics of love. It transcends all generations.”

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