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Sense and Sensibility On Stage at 2nd Space

IN THE January 17 ISSUE

FROM THE 2018 Articles,
andLorie Lewis Ham,
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by Lorie Lewis Ham

I have seen many different versions of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but I had never seen Sense and Sensibility until I went to the Good Company Players’ production at 2nd Space a couple of weeks ago.

For those familiar with Jane Austen, you expect drama, romance, and elegant costumes and you definitely get all of that in this GCP production, and much more. For those unfamiliar with the plot, as I was, here is a brief overview: Elinor (Jessica Knotts) and Marianne (Na’Vauge Jackson) Dashwood’s father has died, leaving them, their younger sister Margaret (Gigi Dickerson), and their mother (Julia Reimer), with very little money. Their home and fortune are left to their half brother John Dashwood (Alex Vaux) as it is the custom to leave an estate to a man not a woman. They must leave the home they grew up in and move to a small cottage in Devonshire.

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Cast of GCP’s production of “Sense and Sensibility”-left to right Mrs. Dashwood (Julia Reimer), Marianne (Na’Vauge Jackson), Margaret (Gigi Dickerson) & Elinor (Jessica Knotts)

As they are now poor, society views them as having very little to offer a potent ional husband, which at times makes their situation seem hopeless. To imagine a world where your wealth often determines who you can marry is a horrible situation. However, Elinor and Marianne are strong and resourceful young women, and hope that if they find true love it won’t matter that they are poor. The girls have very different personalities-Elinor prides herself on being proper and reserved, while Marianne is full of energy and life and wants to follow her heart and her dreams. Marianne dreams of marrying the dashing young John Willoughby (Alex Vaux), while at the same time she is being pursued by the older, reserved Colonel Brandon (Daniel Sutherland). Elinor falls for Edward Ferrars (Terry Lewis) whom she fears is far out of her social reach and yet she still holds hope. Both face challenges to love.

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Marianne (Na’Vauge Jackson) & John Willoughby (Alex Vaux)

This production of the story, which has been adapted by Kate Hamill, is a bit different from the traditional production of the show. It is filled with a lot of movement, much of the cast constantly switching roles and sometimes genders with minor costume adjustments. The show is filled not only with the usual drama and romance, but with a lot of fun, energy, and wonderfully comedic moments!

Along with the main cast of characters, we also have a chorus of gossips, who help move the story along and also play other roles in the show (the chorus at times includes all of the principals except for the two eldest girls). Alyssa Gaynor and Benjamin Geddert were absolutely hilarious as the Steele sisters, who become both friends and rivals to the Dashwood girls. Alex Vaux and Terry Lewis flitted from their main characters to other COMPLETELY different characters (including a woman) with ease. The entire cast did a brilliant job with this fast moving and energetic show. But be sure to pay close attention or you might just lose track of who is who lol. I thought this show was delightful.

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The Gossips

You will laugh, you will feel for the girls, you will want to slap some of the gentlemen, and you will enjoy watching this story unfold. Kudos to director Kathleen McKinley for putting together a lovely production in which all of the multitude of pieces fit perfectly. David Pierce’s set design was simple and mobile and worked well with the fast pacing of the show.

If you enjoy Jane Austen’s stories, you will enjoy this production, and even if you typically don’t enjoy her stories I think you will still enjoy this version, as I feel this adapt ion brings a new life and energy to it. Sense and Sensibility performs at 2nd Space Theatre in Fresno through February 25. Tickets can be purchased by calling their box office 559-266-0660 800-371-4747, or going to their website.

You can find more theatre articles, and other entertainment articles, in our Arts & Entertainment section.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and an enthusiastic contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.

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