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Gordon College play celebrates ‘Pride and Prejudice’

By Wendy Killeen
Globe Correspondent / October 16, 2011

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In two years, fans of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice’’ will celebrate the book’s 200th anniversary. But the Gordon College theater department is beginning the festivities now with its fall production of Joanna Norland’s new play, “Lizzie, Darcy and Jane,’’ opening Friday.

It is the United States premiere of the play.

“With so many great women’s roles and such rich language, we decided this would be a great opportunity for our students and our community to be the first to tell this story on an American stage,’’ said Jeffrey S. Miller, a professor of theater arts at Gordon who is directing the school’s production.

Miller said he discovered the play a few years ago on a trip to England, and was intrigued at how the playwright integrated events from Austen’s life into interesting characters.

In “Lizzie, Darcy and Jane,’’ Norland speculates about the story behind Austen’s writing of “Pride and Prejudice,’’ including her family circumstances, her poverty, and even how a broken engagement sent her into such despair that she stopped writing.

The show stars Bekah Jordan, Kelsie Davidson, and Chris Preyer. Other cast members include David Alvarado, Olivia King, Sarah Hand, and Chole Eaton.

Christine Alger is costume designer; Amber Primm is set designer and production manager. Carissa Gerber is the scenic and props artisan, and Russ Swift is lighting designer.

The show runs at Gordon College in Wenham at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and Oct. 25 through Oct. 29; there are also Saturday matinees at 4:30 p.m.

Tickets for Friday and Saturday evenings are $10; $8 for students, senior citizens, and Gordon faculty and staff.

Tickets for the Tuesday through Thursday shows and Saturday matinees are $7 and $5.

For more details, visit www.gordon.edu.