September 21, 2023

Last Chance: UMW Theatre’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Ends April 16


UMW Theatre will close its 2022-2023 season with Pride and Prejudice by Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Jane Austen.  Performances will be April 6-8 & 12-15 at 7:30 p.m., and April 16 at 2:00 p.m. in Klein Theatre, duPont Hall at the University of Mary Washington. Guests may also attend the Pay-What-You-Can Preview performance on April 5 at 7:30 p.m. The box office opens at 5:30 p.m. and tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. AfterWords, a post-show talkback with the cast, will take place after the matinee performance on April 16. Tickets are $25 for standard admission and $20 for students, senior citizens, and military. Groups of ten or more can receive a discount as well.

UMW Theatre presents Pride and PrejudiceJane Austen’s beloved novel has been made anew with this modern adaptation of a classic tale. Pride and Prejudicetells the story of the Bennet family as they eagerly seek suitable matches for their four eligible daughters. While the younger Bennet sisters are just beginning their search for a husband, the elder Bennet sisters are racing against the clock to “ensnare” a respectable match. Elegant balls are hosted, and young ladies vie for the attention of prospective suitors, all except for Elizabeth Bennet, a free-spirited young woman who spurns the idea of games and marriage. As the pressure to marry grows stronger, Lizzy must battle societal expectations in search of her own independence. That is, until the mysterious and proud Mr. Darcy comes to town. He is the embodiment of everything that Lizzy despises, yet they are inexplicably drawn to one another. This comedy gives an ironic twist to gender expectations in society, finding humor in the rules and adversity that men and women face. As pressure to wed intensifies and the Bennett family grows more frantic, Lizzy must battle the judgment of others and reassess her own assumptions about what it is to fall in love.

Pride and Prejudice is based upon the 1813 book of the same name, written by English author, Jane Austen. This was the second of her six major novels that were published in the Regency period, inspiring many film adaptations and retellings of her popular works. Kate Hamill took the basis of Austen’s romance and turned it into a commentary on our contemporary society. Although she adds her own artistic flourish, the play still retains the general plot, conflicts, and characters prevalent in Austen’s original novel. The play first premiered on June 24, 2017, at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Garrison, New York. The vision was carried out by director Amanda Dehnert, and Kate Hamill herself originated the role of Elizabeth Bennet. Due to the show’s wide success, it jumped off-Broadway to Primary Stages at Cherry Lane Theatre, where the run was extended three times past its original premiere run. It accrued recognition and accolades from the initial production and has since progressed to community theatre and college productions.

Pride and Prejudice is directed by Marc Williams, assistant professor of theatre. Choreography is by guest artist Samantha L. Reynolds. Scenic design is by assistant professor Bridgette Dennett and costume design is by associate professor Kevin McCluskey. Lighting and sound design are by guest designers Cat Girardi and G Clausen, respectively. For further information, call the Klein Theatre Box Office at (540) 654-1111 or visit

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