With great delight, Shelagh Grasso, director of the upcoming production of Sense and Sensibility, has chosen an outstanding cast for an exciting adaptation of the Jane Austen classic. While still set in Regency England, her actors will zip around the stage on wheels and make split-second costume changes. A New York Times review called Kate Hamill’s adaptation, “A Whirlwind of Delicious Gossip.”
The story follows the three Dashwood sisters as they seek security after the death of their father, when a half-brother and his conniving wife inherit the entire fortune. As in almost every Romance Novel, a good marriage is the best way out of a bad predicament. But how is a girl to find the right man? Can she trust anyone? Luckily, Austen heroines almost always find the best answers.
Photo: L to R – Top row: Max Hagan, Heather Robuck, Heather Joyce-Byers. Second row: Jesse Goodman, Connor Christopher. Third row: Carly Maurla, Colleen Minahan. Fourth row: Howard Mesick, Ian Stotts. Standing in front: Natalie Donoso, Shannon Carter. Not pictured: JW Ruth, PA Keating, Jen Friedman, Gil Rambach, Melissa McGlynn
The two Dashwood sisters of marriageable age, the practical Elinor (Shannon Carter) and the emotional Marianne (Natalie Donoso) are supported by younger sister Margaret (Carly Maurlas) and their mother (Colleen Minahan). Their spineless older half-brother John (Jesse Goodman) and his wife Fanny (Melissa McGlynn) provoke the problem. Fanny’s mother Mrs. Ferrars (Penelope Anne Keating) and two brothers, Edward (JW Ruth) and Robert (Connor Christopher) may (or may not) provide solutions. Kindly relations of Mrs. Dashwood, Sir John and Lady Middleton (Gil Rambach and Heather Joyce Byers) do provide them a new home, where the exuberant Mrs. Jennings (Jen Friedman) takes them on as a pet project. Add in the social climbing Steele sisters Anne (Heather Roebuck) and Lucy (Melissa McGlynn), the respectable Colonel Brandon (Howard Mesick) and the dashing John Willoughby (Max Hagen), stir well, heat almost to the boiling point, and you have Sense and Sensibility! Ian Stotts plays a doctor and a servant, and the entire ensemble takes on the essential responsibility of providing gossip.
Sense and Sensibility will open at Church Hill Theatre on Friday, March 17 and run weekends through Sunday, April 2. Local theater buffs have been anticipating this production for more than a year, so make your reservations early. Ticket information at our website: www.churchhillthreatre.org or by calling 410-556-6003.