The 2016-17 drama year came to a close Saturday, April 1 as the light went off on the latest Crusaders of the Stage production, ‘Pride and Prejudice.’
The Janet Munsil adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic piece transported the students and audience to regal England. A time where status and wealth meant a great deal to all around, especially to the upper class.
“It is one of my favorite shows and favorite books” Dorathea Kelly, director, said. “The author, I think, did a really great adaptation. I looked at four different versions of ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ I wanted to do it justice. Sometimes it can be very plot heavy and very slow. But, it’s the catalysts stuff, and you have to have it. I think it worked well together.”
The story is about Elizabeth Bennet as she struggles to find true love, among the many would be suitors. When she meets Mr. Darcy, she is immediately put off by his boorish, pompous attitude and behavior. As time winds their understanding of each other grows. It is revealed, through conversations and a special letter, that Darcy is socially awkward due to knowing where he was heading in life and his up bringing.
In the end Elizabeth finds her true love in Darcy.
Senior Cassidy Harriger was excited when she found that she had been cast as Elizabeth, the female lead.
“It was crazy exciting,” she said. “I thought that I wasn’t going to get it at all. I bursted into tears, I was so excited.”
After finding out about her role, Harriger did what any actor does, learned more about her role.
“Usually before productions, I like to do a little bit of research,” she said. “So, I can be prepared for the auditions and which part I would like to choose. When I found out that we were doing ‘Pride and Prejudice’, I read the book and watched the movie multiple times. I looked at how Keira Knightley portrayed Elizabeth and I looked how Jane Austen pictured Elizabeth and tried to make myself that.”
Braiden Buresh, was cast as Mr. Darcy, and appreciated the help from his mother and sisters in guiding him to the character.
Buresh admitted that he had not seen the show completely prior to being cast.
“My sisters and mother love the show,” he said. “The only character I knew was Mr. Darcy. So I figured it was a decent size role. Then I found out that he is the lead male role, then I was excited cause this is my first lead role.”
He stated that the role was great, as it was a polar opposite of his day-to-day life.
“He is fairly plain and arrogant and knows what he’s talking about,” Buresh said. “He has his life already planned out and everywhere else he goes it doesn’t matter. Me, I enjoy life, going out and being loud.”
Besides for the romantic undertones throughout the show, Kelly believes there are important lessons that apply as much today as they did when the story was first written.
“I really like the idea of, and it’s true, that first impressions get blocked by our views of people,” she said. “I think it’s a story that is still happening. We let our prejudices and social status get in the way of true feelings. Sometimes we make snap judgements and later find out we were really wrong.”
With the final show complete, Kelly and WHS will be saying goodbye to a talented group of seniors. Some have worked with Kelly for six years, as they started acting in middle school. While one student, Caroline Anderson, this was her second show at WHS.
Anderson is an exchange student and took part in ‘Back to the ’80’s’ this fall and was Mrs. Reynolds in this production.
“I’m amazed of her, coming to another country and dealing with a foreign language,” Kelly said. “She’s always willing to try and put herself out there.”
Of the remaining seniors Kelly said - “The last show of the senior year is difficult. Absolutely hard, it’s always hard to say goodbye to them. It’s bittersweet. It’s great to see where they are going. Whether it theatre or into the real world. It’s exciting to see that and the confidence they have because of theatre. But, I will miss them.”