Pride and Prejudice: From the Page to the Stage

Courtesy of Audrey Aronis

Courtesy of Audrey Aronis

Julia Biertempfel '15, Editor-In-Chief

The Oakland Catholic Theatre Company (abbreviated as OCTC) kicks off its fourth season with a classic beloved by English teachers throughout the school, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Mrs. Gentile, inspired by the positive reviews last year’s freshmen actors had of the book, decided that an adaptation of Austen’s novel would be a good choice. The size of the JOA Theatre makes fitting both an elaborate furniture arrangement and more than ten actors onstage at a time a challenge. If the first “blocking” practice was any indication, however, Mrs. Gentile and Ms. Jeffries will make the arrangement work.

Something to look forward to is the period costumes required for an authentic performance of Pride and Prejudice. Mrs. Gentile informed the cast on the first day of rehearsal that donors from both Central’s theatre department and CMU have extended offers to help provide the costumes that Mrs. Gentile does not supply, so most of the cast impatiently looks forward to trying on some ridiculously Victorian costumes. Growing accustomed to the giant skirts typical of Jane Austen’s time will be one of the biggest (but most enjoyable) challenges of this play, aside from the ever-stressful line memorization.

This play’s requirement of English accents is a blessing to some, but a curse to others. While leaving the theatre after a long day of reading through all three acts, one actress remarked, “My tongue will never work itself out of this knot it’s in.” However, this play will finally make sure that all actors of the OCTC are ready to do a (hopefully decent) British accent at the drop of a hat. The actors will have to work hard to match the Russian accents used by several cast members in last spring’s show, You Can’t Take It With You.

The cast is very dynamic. In the Bennet family, actors and actresses include Maggi Richard as Elizabeth “Liza” Bennet; Julia Biertempfel and Leo Baumbach as Mrs. and Mr. Bennet, respectively; Mary Rose Lowman as Jane Bennet; Grace Kennedy as Mary Bennet; Brooke Staudt as Catherine Bennet; and Giovanna Tatananni as Lydia Bennet. Additionally, the OCTC has cast Colin Troesken as Mr. Darcy; Angela Zenchak as Miss Bingley; Tanelle Franklin-Phillips as Lady Lucas; Eve Cunningham as Charlotte Lucas; Claire Biertempfel as Hill; Hannah Bernacki as Mr. Collins; and Liz Brugger as Mr. Wickham.

Come support the OCTC and enjoy a freshman-year favorite brought to the stage!