URI Theatre to present Pride and Prejudice, opens April 19

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Pride and Prejudice
URI students Kristen Casey (left) of New Windsor, N.Y., Elyssa Baldassari of Holmes, N.Y. and Joe Kidawski of Framingham, Mass. appear in the URI Theatre Department’s production of Pride and Prejudice.
Photos by Randy Osga

KINGSTON, R.I. –April 3, 2007 – The University of Rhode Island’s Theatre Department will present Pride and Prejudice this month in the Robert E. Will Theatre of the URI Fine Arts Center. It is the premiere of the play in Rhode Island.

The play runs April 19 through 21 and April 26 through 28 at 7:30 p.m. and April 22 and 29 at 3 p.m. Admission is $14 for the general public, $10 for senior citizens and URI faculty/staff, and $8 for students. For reservations, call the theater box office at 874-5843.

A post-matinee panel discussion of Jane Austen’s timeless story, character, language and themes will be held on Sunday, April 22. Panelists will be Wilfred Dvorak, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Cheryl Foster, URI Philosophy Department and Andrea Rusnock, URI History Department. The play’s director, Bryna Wortman will moderate. The discussion is free and open to the public. There will be a MatChat, short for matinee chat, following the discussion. The MatChat allows audience members to ask the director, actors, designers and management team questions about the theater and the performance.

Pride and Prejudice
URI students Kristen Casey of New Windsor, N.Y., Ahmed Bharoocha (center) of North Smithfield and Patrick Cullen of Narragansett appear in the URI Theatre Department’s production of Pride and Prejudice.
Photo by Randy Osga.

Jane Austen’s novel, a timeless masterpiece depicting events, society and romance circa 1813 is captured in Jon Jory’s dramatic adaptation. The five Bennet sisters reveal the manners and mores of Austen’s characters through their individual personalities, relationship to one another, their parents, societal acquaintances from all classes and finally their love interests. By law, the Bennet women cannot inherit their father’s estate and so the task of finding a suitable mate rests not only with them, but also with their loving and ingenious parents. The misunderstandings of an intelligent and attractive Elizabeth Bennet and her nemesis, the equally attractive but mysterious Mr. Darcy, become an intriguing dance of pride and prejudice in this many-layered romantic comedy.

Bryna Wortman (Fat Pig, Angels in America, Diary of Anne Frank, Grapes of Wrath, Antigone) directs 16 student-actors playing 25 roles in 24 fast-moving scenes. The period dances are choreographed by assistant director Carol Pegg to music chosen by resident sound designer Peter Nabut. Costumes are designed by David T. Howard. The atmosphere of romance and country life is created by Lighting Designer Jeffrey Whitsett on the elegantly simple, ever-changing set designed by Cheryl deWardener. Props are by Michael Martineau, dramaturgy by Sarah Chaet with the technical direction by Julius Galgoczy. Austen’s popular novel, never out of print, has sold more than 20 million copies. For more information, call 401-874-5921.

Members of the cast, their characters, and hometowns follow:

  • Elyssa Baldassari, Jane Bennet, Holmes, N.Y.
  • Ahmed Bharoocha, Mr. Collins, N. Smithfield
  • Kyle Blanchette, Wickham, Coventry
  • Kristen Casey, Elizabeth Bennet, New Windsor, N.Y.
  • Erin Condry, Miss Bingley/Mrs. Gardiner, Warwick
  • Patrick Cullen, Mr. Darcy, Narragansett
  • Tyler Fischer, Ball guest/servant/officer, Branford, Conn.
  • Nick Foehr, Mr. Bennet, Coventry
  • Autumn Gillette, Kitty Bennet, Manchester, Mass.
  • Ben Gracia, Mr. Lucus/Mr. Gardiner, East Providence
  • Crystal Guilbert, Lydia Bennet, Charlestown
  • Nile Hawver, Fitzwilliam/Servant, Coventry
  • Joe Kidawski, Mr. Bingley, Framingham, Mass.
  • Leah Kolb, Mrs. Bennet, Sacramento, Calif.
  • Elise Petraca, Lady Catherine/Ball Guest/Housekeeper, Johnston
  • Sara Sheets, Mary/Charlotte, Scituate