PCPA presents Sense and Sensibility, the popular Jane Austen novel, adapted for the stage. It’s late-18th-century England, and sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood are seeking suitors. Elinor, the elder, represents a generation of rationalists: She seeks a long-lasting, amiable partnership. Marianne, however, disdains her sister’s practical approach to the vetting of suitors and yearns to be swept up in a romantic affair.
Despite existing in the past, Sense and Sensibility offers a relatable tale of young women endeavoring to find fitting partners for stable and satisfying marriages. Director Roger DeLaurier, who also directed Pride and Prejudice, another Jane Austen adaptation by Sense and Sensibility adapters Joseph Hanreddy and J.R. Sullivan, is attracted to Austen’s forward-thinking work. In preparation for Sense and Sensibility, DeLaurier reread all of Austen’s work to immerse himself in the period of the stories. DeLaurier points out that while Elinor’s logical personality is played as a foil to romantic-minded Marianne, Austen’s ultimate conclusion is that both traits are necessary for creating and fostering successful partnerships. “It’s not sense versus sensibility,” DeLaurier said, “but sense and sensibility. It has complex characters and a relatable plot. It’s about finding the person to spend the rest of your life with.”
Designed with the elegance of the Regency period, Sense and Sensibility will be at the Marian Theatre July 21-30, and then at Solvang Festival Theater August 5-21. The playing space is a simple but ornate palace of marble and parquet. Carved columns are moved throughout the set to create the various playing areas of the production. Simple and stylish, Sense and Sensibility is an example of classic literature brought to the stage with an eye for accessibility to a modern audience.
Sense and Sensibility will be at Marian Theatre in Santa Maria July 21-July 30 and then at Solvang Festival Theater August 5-12. For tickets and information, visit pcpa.org or call 922-8313.