A few years after its memorable performance of Pride & Prejudice (Fall 2013), Covenant College Theatre is endeavoring to take on the first novel in the Austen saga: Sense & Sensibility, adapted by Jon Jory. The play revitalizes the familiar tussle between logic and emotion, mismatched lovers, and manipulative family members in the timeless spirit of the novel, with new faces and a few new quips as well.
Senior theatre student Nyssa Coffman will fulfill long-running aspirations to direct and usher the beloved story onto the local stage. She expects the production to entertain and fulfill the audience’s expectations; she hopes it will remind them why Jane Austen is still a best-selling author after two centuries.
“I wanted to choose a well-known play, a well-known story,” says Coffman. “We’ve been having a lot of obscure plays recently— Savannah Disputation, Waiting for Godot, and Moreau— and haven’t had a lot of big-name productions in a long-time.” Coffman chose the show to cater to a wider audience of theatergoers, while continuing to foster relationships with faithful patrons. She believes that Jane Austen’s matchmaking capabilities have the potential to do the trick.
The play follows the two journeys of sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood as they are ferried between family estates with numerous suitors in their wake—all set against the showy backdrop of 19th century England. Elinor is the perfect image of rational, practical thinking—the “Sense,” while free-spirited Marianne embodies the sensibility of unbridled, passionate emotion.
Elinor will be played by Sophomore Abi Ogle, while Junior Caroline McLeod will play her foil, Marianne. Junior Austen Crim, sophomore Andrew Lupinek, and sophomore Noah Lloyd will play suitors John Willoughby, Edward Ferrars, and Colonel Brandon respectively.
“I want the audience to remember something that they’ve always loved and to have a new love for the story,” says Ogle. She believes the play will invite the audience to consider whether sense should trump sensibility or if a happy medium is necessary. “It is good to be passionate, and it is good to be considerate of the people around you and thoughtful of what comes out of your mouth,” states Ogle on her interpretation of Austen’s theme.
Sense & Sensibility plays from Friday, April 22 at 8 p.m. to Saturday, April 23, at 2:30 p.m. in Covenant’s Sanderson Auditorium. Viewers can also attend the final dress rehearsal on Thursday, April 21. Tickets will be $3 for students, staff, and seniors and $5 for other adults for all three nights. To reserve tickets or ask any questions, call the box office at 706-419-1051 or firstname.lastname@example.org