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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

“Expect more ‘com’ than ‘rom:’” Wofford Theatre presents Pride and Prejudice

Photo+courtesy+of+Hailie+Gold.%0AKate+Hamill%E2%80%99s+theatre+version+of+Pride+and+Prejudice+will+be+presented+Apr.+21-23+and+27-30+at+8pm
Photo courtesy of Hailie Gold. Kate Hamill’s theatre version of Pride and Prejudice will be presented Apr. 21-23 and 27-30 at 8pm

“It’s a breath of fresh air,” said Rachel Turner ’22. “It’s weird, but also nice, to return back to making art without feeling like there’s any additional stress that comes with doing a show during COVID. Of course, we wanted to keep each other safe, but this feels more normal.”

Wofford’s theatre department has been working on their Spring play, Pride and Prejudice, since the semester began. This production comes with multiple changes after their previous two plays this year – Twilight Bowl and Fairytale Lives of Russian Women – including the removal of COVID-19 protocols, working with a new director and the fact that the performance is a very famous story.

“I know for a lot of us, this is the first or second show where it’s felt like we’re (really) doing theatre,” said Mary-Michael O’Hara ’25 on performing for the first time without restrictions due to COVID-19. O’Hara played Maddy in Wofford theatre’s fall production of Twilight Bowl, where all actors had to remain distanced from each other and facing the audience.

This interim’s pulp theatre production of Fairytale Lives of Russian Women, directed by Hailie Gold ‘23, was performed without COVID-19 restrictions in place, but the production included only students participating in the interim class and had a small cast of 7 students.

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Pride and Prejudice is also one of the first productions in recent years—excluding interim pulp theatre productions, which are directed by students—where Wofford’s cast and crew has been directed by someone besides Dan Day, associate professor of theatre.

“Both (our directors) Matt Giles and Connor Vetter are Wofford alums,” said Rachel Johnson ’24. “Getting to work with new directors has given us the opportunity to not only learn more from other sources, but also explore other ranges where they offer a new sense of guidance.”

Preparing for the show has taken many hours of work, with practices lasting about four hours per night. Some cast members, including Johnson and Turner, assisted with crew tasks such as set building and costume design. The set was designed by student designer Joanna Burgess ’22.

Wofford’s production of Pride and Prejudice will also diverge from both the book and movie versions of the story, taking a more comedic approach to it. Though some of the cast and crew are familiar with the original Jane Austen story, not all of the students involved knew it before participating.

Though the story of Pride and Prejudice focuses on the turbulent romance of main characters Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, this particular production chooses to highlight the comedic moments and opportunities for humor within the story.

“Don’t come into this production expecting it to be like the book or movie, because it is (as though it was) the Monty Python version,” Johnson said. “It is raunchy, and at times inappropriate (for children).”

“There is a note from the playwright that says: if you think it’s a naughty joke, it probably is,” O’Hara added.

Each cast member plays two characters, besides Turner, who plays three. Gender is generally ignored in the casting, with male students occasionally playing female characters and vice versa.

“There’s certainly the traditional elements of Pride and Prejudice found in this production,” Turner said. “There is romance. At its core, it is Pride and Prejudice—but expect more ‘com’ than ‘rom!’”

The production will run until April 30.

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