BYU Arts is performing an adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” written for the stage by Kate Hamill. The show will run from March 11 to April 1 in the Pardoe Theater.
“Pride and Prejudice” will be the last show performed in the Pardoe Theater before the department relocates to Provo High School. The Pardoe Theater holds many memories for staff members, locals and students according to Jenna Adams, assistant director of the production.
Preparation for this performance began almost a year ago. Freja Jorgensen, a BYU senior majoring in acting, heard about the plans for this production last May and decided she would audition.
Auditions were held months later in October. On Halloween morning, Jorgensen found out she had been cast in the lead role portraying Elizabeth Bennet. Langi Tuifua, a BYU senior and acting major, also received the news that morning that he would be playing her love interest, Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Rehearsals began in January at the start of the new semester. Jorgensen said actors not only had to begin memorizing lines and blocking but were also expected to participate in a “dramaturgy” bootcamp about the study of stage dramas.
“We had a tea party in character, there was a day where we just learned a bunch of different things an accomplished woman would’ve known back then. We had a PowerPoint night,” Jorgensen said. “It was all super fun!”
Tuifua said theater has been a rediscovered passion of his. He participated in one play as a child and then decided to pursue football instead. When a serious injury interrupted his college football career at BYU, he figured he might as well try theater again.
“I just started going through the program and fell in love with it all so now I’m doing all forms of acting,” Tuifua said.
Caleb Andrus, a BYU senior majoring in theater arts studies, started his time at BYU pursuing acting. Over time he felt more drawn to the directing side of theater production. He was selected to be an assistant director to Stephanie Breinholt, the director, as they worked to put her vision for “Pride and Prejudice” onstage.
“I really admired how particular Stephanie was about things,” Andrus said. “It was so obvious what she wanted with the costumes, the lighting and the set; it was all so detailed.”
The play is an adaptation of the Jane Austen novel “Pride and Prejudice” and offers an added sense of comedy and modernism, Jorgensen said. She also pointed out its relatability to the pressures of dating and courtship that BYU students face.
“It’s hysterical and relatable to the modern audience in the motifs and tropes that it uses,” Jorgensen said. “I think something that our university community can learn from ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is that things are never as black-and-white as they seem and people are more good than we give them credit for.”
Tuifua agreed with how the play relates to the BYU dating world but also wanted to add his own dating advice for BYU students.
“I think every guy, if you bring a girl to this as a date they will probably love you forever, so bring a date,” Tuifua said.
More information about the production of “Pride and Prejudice” and how to buy tickets can be found on the BYU Arts website.