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'Pride and Prejudice': DSU to stage classic novel

All of the wit and romance of Jane Austen's much-loved classic novel, "Pride and Prejudice," will be brought to life on stage at Dickinson State University.

The DSU theater program is presenting an adaptation of the Austen work by theater legend Jon Jory, founder of the Actors' Theatre of Louisville.

"Pride and Prejudice" will be perform in May Hall's Dorothy Stickney Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 27.

"Whether you are familiar with the story or not, this play will be a treat for you," said Dr. Kenneth Haught, DSU professor of theater and director of the play. "If you already know it, I think you'll be thrilled with how refreshingly fast-paced and funny this new stage version is. If you don't know it, I guarantee you will be glad you met Miss Bennet and all of her hilarious friends and enemies. It's a great story for both men and women."

The play is set in 19th Century England, where manners and birth mean everything and one's reputation is of vital importance.

For independent-minded Elizabeth Bennet, finding a match isn't an urgent priority. But with four sisters, an overzealous, match-making mother, and a string of unsuitable suitors, it's difficult to escape the subject.

Sparks fly when Elizabeth meets the handsome and enigmatic Mr. Darcy, and her opinionated nature clashes with his pride and arrogance.

Over time, Darcy and Elizabeth must unlearn their misconceptions and undo their misunderstandings to find true and lasting love.

Audiences may recognize the two leading performers in "Pride and Prejudice" from their previous roles on the DSU stage. Junior nursing major Jordan Mork plays Elizabeth, while junior theater major Deryl Matthew portrays Mr. Darcy.

Supporting roles include senior theater major Layne Brandvik, senior elementary education major Troy Kuntz, junior social science major Jesse Kilwein, sophomore theater major Amanda Leftridge and junior music major Kayla Ziemann.

Another 10 DSU students and a guest faculty member complete the cast.

Haught has designed a unit set that suggests more than a dozen different locations with just a few simple changes of furniture and some projections of line drawings of period English manor houses and gardens. Professor of theater Ronald Gingerich will direct the set construction.

The costumes of the period are rented from Broadway Costumes, Inc. and coordinated by instructor of theater Pattie Carr. She also directs the ballroom dancing that occurs during the show.

Tickets are $6 for adults and $5 for seniors, students and groups of 10 or more. Reservations are available from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, at 701-483-2154 and in May Hall Room 207.