Jane Austen's timeless tale of romantic love touched by pride and prejudice is brought to the stage in this adaptation conceived especially for schools and small theatres. All the components of the novel remain: romance, love, rivalry, friendship and the many foibles and delights of family. While the clash between the lively Elizabeth and the arrogant Darcy remains at the heart of the play, love in all its many facets dominate all of the characters’ lives. The play remains faithful to the marital rites and manners of Regency England as courtships are explored, broken, reunited and ignited. The play's many locales are done with minimal effort by dividing your playing space into three areas with the characters moving quickly and easily through the different locations. About 90 minutes.
PLAYWRIGHT CLAUDIA HAAS TALKS ABOUT
“PRIDE AND PREJUDICE”
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS ADAPTATION?
A: Decades of love for the novel and a wish to play any of the roles in my acting days.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: This is crafted so exquisitely - it is hard to pick a "favorite" anything. I am notoriously bad at "favorites." I will say the opening line, "It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife," sets up the novel (and my adaptation) perfectly. Indeed it sums up the story and the matrimonial rites of Regency England.
Q: WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART IN CREATING THIS ADAPTATION?
A: The varied locations. I spent a lot of time staring at small stages and wondering how they could easily switch from one home to another. Finally, I decided on the stages being split 2 to 3 ways. The Bennets would be having conversations at the same time as the Bingleys and other neighbors.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE THROUGH THIS ADAPTATION?
A: I wanted to use Jane Austen's sparkling dialogue as much as possible (and did). At the same time, I wanted to make the play accessible for small theatres and high schools. “Pride and Prejudice” is required reading at many local high schools in Minnesota. It would be interesting to have that accompanied by a production.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
A: I would love to see many of Jane Austen's works come on to the stage. I think it is a hands-on way for actors to meet Jane. The movies have had great success with her works. Film is so visual and it is easy to achieve the sweeping landscapes of the novels. It is a challenge but worth it to figure out how to make all of her works approachable theatrically.