Charming, Romantic Classic—Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility—Opens South Coast Repertory's 55th Season
COSTA MESA, Calif. (Aug. 15, 2018)—Southern California audiences will be able to get lost in Jane Austen’s elegant, Regency era romantic classic, Sense and Sensibility, next month. The production opens South Coast Repertory’s 55th season. British playwright Jessica Swale adapted Austen’s story and the show is directed by Casey Stangl on the Segerstrom Stage, Sept. 1-29. Tickets are available online at www.scr.org.
“When I first read Jessica’s [Swale] adaptation, I was delighted, energized and excited,” Stangl said. “She beautifully captures Jane Austen's humor and heart and tells the story in a fast-moving and delightful way.”
Austen’s 1811 story follows the Dashwood sisters—practical Elinor and impulsive Marianne—who are of good social standing and marriageable age. When their father dies and their half-brother skimps on their inheritance, the sisters are forced to leave their grand estate for a tiny, cold cottage. Just as life seems its bleakest, a handsome stranger arrives on horseback and the sisters are convinced their futures are secured.
Swale is a writer, director and the artistic director at Red Handed Theatre Company. Her plays include Nell Gwynn, All’s Will That Ends Will, Far from the Madding Crowd, The Secret Garden and Blue Stockings. As a director, her credits include Fallen Angels (Salisbury Playhouse) and Bedlam (Shakespeare’s Globe). She has directed a number of Shakespeare plays in the Balkans and the Marshall Islands for Youth Bridge Global. She is currently directing her feature film debut—Summerland— from her own screenplay, with Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Courtenay and Penelope Wilton, and executive-produced by Gemma Arterton.
Swale told The Arts Shelf that Austen has been a favorite writer of hers for years and that the classic writer’s enduring legacy was “her ability to draw real life so convincingly in words, and the job of adapting it for stage has been both a thrilling and intimidating process.”
The Wiltshire Gazette & Herald, at the time of the play’s 2014 United Kingdom premiere, said “Sense and Sensibility is like a much-loved coat. Its familiarity is a goodly part of its charm, and you know it will wrap you in warmth, making you feel good.”
The diverse cast includes Preston Butler III, Rachel Charny, Nike Doukas, Joel Gelman, Desirée Mee Jung, Abigail Marks, Rebecca Mozo, Josh Odsess-Rubin, Matt Orduña, Dileep Rao and Hilary Ward.
The design team creating the Regency era setting includes François-Pierre Couture, set design; Maggie Morgan, costume design; Anne E. McMills, lighting design; Martín Carrillo, sound design; David Murakami, projection design; Kitty McNamee, choreography; and Joanne DeNaut, CSA, casting. Joshua Marchesi is the production manager and Bree Sherry is the stage manager.
Sense and Sensibility has generous support from Honorary Producer Sandy Segerstrom Daniels. The Corporate Honorary Producer is U.S. Bank and the media sponsors are 89.3/Southern California Public Radio and Orange Coast magazine.
Tickets start at $23. Discounts are available for full-time students, patrons 25 years of age and under, fulltime educators, seniors and groups of 10 or more. For complete information, visit: www.scr.org.
Related Information for Sense and Sensibility
Tickets: May be purchased online at www.scr.org, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the Box Office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Performances run Sept. 1-29. Ticket prices start at $23. Low-priced previews run Sept. 1-6.
Performance Dates, Times
- Saturday, Sept. 1, at 8 p.m.
- Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday, Sept. 2, 4, 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m.
- Regular performances run Sept. 8-29. Note: There are no Monday performances. The performance on Friday, Sept. 7, is invitation-only.
- Evening Performances:
- Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sept. 9, 11, 12 and 13; Sept. 16, 18, 19 and 20; and Sept. 23, 25, 26 and 27, at 7:30 p.m.
- Fridays-Saturdays, Sept. 8, Sept. 14-15; Sept. 21-22; and Sept. 28-29, at 8 p.m.
- Saturdays-Sundays, Sept. 8-9; Sept. 15-16; Sept. 22-23; Sept. 29, at 2:30 p.m.
- ASL-interpreted: Saturday, Sept. 29, at 2:30 p.m.
- Trivia Night: Sense and Sensibility: Tuesday, Aug. 21, 7 p.m.: Test your Austen knowledge in this event at Chapter One: the modern local, 227 N. Broadway, Santa Ana.
- Sense and Sensibility Film Screening: Monday, Aug. 27, 4 p.m.: The Film Club at the Costa Mesa Donald Dungan Library will screen the 1995 film version of Sense and Sensibility (with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman). Following the film, join a trivia discussion and a conversation about the themes in the film. This screening is free of charge at the library, 1855 Park Ave., Costa Mesa.
- Pre-Show Talk: Bringing Literature to Life: Thursday, Sept. 6, 6:30 p.m. Sense and Sensibility director Casey Stangl will talk about the opportunities and challenges of bringing great literature from page to stage. Before and after the talk, on the theatre’s terrace, representatives from the Jane Austen Society of North America (Southwest Region) will be on hand, along with a demonstration of Regency era dancing by the Orange County English Country Dancers; a display of classic literature that’s available at the Orange County Library; information about the literacy program OC Read; UC-Irvine’s special collections and archives; and upcoming films at the Frida Cinema. These pre-show activities at SCR are free of charge.
- Regency Era Dancing: Saturday, Sept. 8, 1:30 p.m. Regency era-costumed Orange County English Dancers will perform (in costume) and teach some basic period dances on SCR’s Ela’s Terrace. This pre-show activity is free. Purchase a ticket to stay for the matinee performance.
- Post-Show Discussions: Wednesday, Sept. 12, and Tuesday, Sept. 18. Discuss the play with cast members of Sense and Sensibility during free post-show discussions led by SCR’s literary team. Segerstrom Stage.
- College Night: Tuesday, Sept. 18, 6:15 p.m. A free, pre-show party in SCR’s lobby—with complimentary appetizers and drinks—where theatre artisans will talk about the work they’ve done on the show. Valid college/university ID is required to attend. College students who are members of MyStage (a free program for ages 15-25) qualify for $10 tickets. For details, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Inside the Season: Saturday, Sept. 22, from, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Led by members of SCR’s literary staff, this lively two-hour session includes in-depth interviews with cast members and artists from the production staff who offer insights into Sense and Sensibility. Segerstrom Stage. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased in advance or at the door.
Location: South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the David Emmes/Martin Benson Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available on Park Center Drive, off Anton Boulevard.
Upcoming Productions: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, Sept. 30-Oct. 21; Kings by Sarah Burgess, Oct. 13-Nov.10; Nate the Great by John Maclay and Brett Ryback, Nov. 2-Nov.18 (Theatre for Young Audiences); A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Nov. 24-Dec.24 and Culture Clash (Still) In AmeriCCa written and performed by Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza, Dec. 30, 2018-Jan. 20, 2019. More information is available at www.scr.org.
ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. www.scr.org