Timeless Jane Austen characters Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett will grace the big screen at Provo’s Covey Center for the Arts in an upcoming event entitled “All Things Austen.”
The Covey Center is hosting the day-long event on Saturday, March 2, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 5:00 p.m. after the showing of BBC’s miniseries version of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.”
David Acheson, the producer of the event, got the idea three years ago after seeing his kids going to movie marathons with their friends.
“My kids were going to marathons like ‘Harry Potter’ back-to-back or ‘Lord of the Rings,'” Acheson said. “I thought, if I could watch something on the big screen back-to-back, what would it be? It would be something that my family would enjoy, like ‘Pride and Prejudice.'”
The majority of the all-day event will be spent screening the entire BBC miniseries version of “Pride and Prejudice” in high-tech digital sound and projection.
“It is an opportunity for folks who enjoy Jane Austen and especially the BBC version of “Pride and Prejudice,” to see all six episodes on the big screen, back-to-back,” Acheson said.
While Austen’s novels focused on English society during the late 18th century and early 19th century, the stories she tells are still widely popular today. Acheson, a fan of Austen, said he believes her novels explore universal human experiences that are still relevant today.
“She’s got some really timeless qualities about what she writes and what she shares,” Acheson said. “It is really about human relationships and people trying to connect. I think those are enduring themes that really resonate with people. People want to make connections, and it is a great opportunity to be exposed to that. The writing is great, and the human aspect of it is very compelling.”
While the main attraction at the event is the screening of “Pride and Prejudice,” Jane Hinckley, who is a part-time faculty member in BYU’s department of humanities, classics and comparative literature, will also give a presentation entitled “The Enduring Legacy of Jane Austen’s Works (In Other Words Why We Just Can’t Get Enough of Austen).” Hinckley, whose love of Austen began after reading “Pride and Prejudice” in high school, said she believes Austen’s novels endure because she told stories about women in a time when women held little standing in society.
“In my opinion, as a society we have come to a realization that women’s lives are important and women’s stories are important, and that was what was available to Jane Austen to write in her time,” Hinckley said. “So I think that is why we have a fervent interest in her now because she is someone who has succeeded in telling women’s stories.”
Camille Lazelle, a sophomore from Meridian, Idaho, said she believes Austen’s stories are still popular today because they are easy to understand and relate to.
“They’re popular because most of them are classic chick flicks that we all really enjoy from time to time,” Lazelle said. “We identify with the main characters and their problems, so their stories appeal to us.”
For tickets, visit janeaustenguild.com. Students may purchase discounted tickets by visiting janeaustenguild.com/student.