Eminently theatrical adaptation of Austen classic is a whirlwind of gossip, laughter, and romance

Who: PlayMakers Repertory Company
What: Mainstage production of “Sense and Sensibility” by Kate Hamill, directed by Taibi Magar
When: October 18 to November 5; Opening Night & Press Opening Saturday, October 21
Where: Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art, 120 Country Club Road, Chapel Hill, NC
Tickets: Regular: $15-$57; Students tickets start at $10

(Chapel Hill, NC, October 4, 2017) PlayMakers Repertory Company proudly presents “Sense and Sensibility” by Kate Hamill (based on the classic Jane Austen novel). The production is directed by Taibi Magar, in her PlayMakers directorial debut.

Hamill’s adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility” brings out the whimsy and wit at the heart of this beloved tale. The Dashwood sisters, level-headed Elinor and passionate, impetuous Marianne, are torn from their comfortable upper class lives when family fortunes change, and tossed into a world swirling with the social pressures of class, money, and reputation. Mix in a few dashing love interests and a gaggle of gossipy socialites for an energetic romp through the 19th century that will delight Austen fans and novices alike.

“When Vivienne approached me about directing at PlayMakers this season, I immediately suggested we stage ‘Sense and Sensibility’,” said Magar. “I was captivated by Kate Hamill’s ability to take something cherished, like Jane Austen, and reimagine it in a way that honors the original while bringing out elements of the characters and their world that we might see a bit differently today. The play cracks open the entrapment of the Dashwood sisters by systems they can’t control, but in such a humorous and wonderfully theatrical way that really allows Austen’s wit and satiric observations to shine through.”

“There is a special kind of magic that happens when artists like the brilliant Kate Hamill and our amazing director, Taibi Magar, take on the retelling of a classic tale as a labor of love,” said Vivienne Benesch, Producing Artistic Director of PlayMakers Repertory Company. “This theatrical take on Austen transforms ‘Sense and Sensibility’ into a vibrant, deliciously gossipy, and entirely entertaining tour de force. I feel a responsibility to keep our classics on the stage alongside new works, and am in awe when an artist is able to make me fall in love all over again with an old literary friend. I am excited to introduce audiences to a different, subversively funny side of Jane Austen.”

“Sense and Sensibility” features PlayMakers acting company members Jeffrey Blair Cornell as Colonel Brandon (“Count,” “My Fair Lady”), Ray Dooley as Mrs. Jennings (“My Fair Lady,” “Disgraced”), Geoff Culbertson as Willoughby (“Twelfth Night,” “The Crucible), Shanelle Nicole Leonard as Elinor Dashwood (“Intimate Apparel,” “My Fair Lady”), Rishan Dhamija as Edward Ferrars (“My Fair Lady,” “The May Queen”), and Alex Givens as John Dashwood (“Measure for Measure,” “The Crucible”). Making their PlayMakers debut are new company members Emily Bosco as Marianne Dashwood (“2 A.M.” at Manhattan Repertory Theatre and “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” at Little Firehouse Theatre), April Mae Davis as Margaret Dashwood (“Fences” at Studio 321 and “The Individuality of Streetlamps” at Barrow Group Theatre), Sarah Elizabeth Keyes as Fanny Dashwood (“Macbeth” at Scranton Shakespeare Festival and “The Skin of Our Teeth” at Theatre for a New Audience), and Daniel Toot as Sir John Middleton (“Pericles” at Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and “Savage in Limbo” at The Poor Theatre). Also returning to our stage is Dede Corvinus as Mrs. Dashwood (“Assassins” and “The Cherry Orchard”).

The Creative Team of “Sense and Sensibility” includes: Taibi Magar (Director), Peter Ksander (Scenic Designer), Olivera Gajic (Costume Designer), Justin Ellington (Composer), Tracy Bersley (Choreographer), Cecilia Durbin (Lighting Designer), Adam Bintz (Sound Designer), Gregory Kable (Dramaturg), John Patrick (Voice Coach), Charles K. Bayang (Production Stage Manager), and Elizabeth Ray (Assistant Stage Manager).

“Sense and Sensibility” is recommended for audiences 10 and older.

For information and to purchase tickets, call 919.962.7529 or visit playmakersrep.org. Individual ticket prices for “Sense and Sensibility” start at $15.

Performance and Event Schedule:
October 11, 6:30 p.m. — The “The Vision Series—Directors in Conversation,” a behind-the-scenes preview with members of the creative team, moderated by Engagement Associate Jeri Lynn Schulke at the Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art. Free and open to the public.
October 18-20, 7:30 p.m. — Preview performances
October 21, 7:30 p.m. — Opening Night & Press Opening
October 24, 7:30 p.m. — All-access performance for attendees with special needs, with sign language interpretation and audio description
October 24, 7:30 p.m. — Community Night at PlayMakers. General admission seating, with all tickets $15 ($10 for students with UNC ID)
October 25 & 29 — Free post-show discussions with members of the creative team and cast
November 4, 7:30 p.m. — Open captioned performance, with dialog, stage direction, and sound effects communicated on a “universal access” live caption unit
November 4 & 5 — “Mindplay,” a free post-show psychoanalytic reading of our production in partnership with the North Carolina Psychoanalytic Society

About PlayMakers Repertory Company:
PlayMakers is the professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina’s premier resident theater company for more than 40 years. PlayMakers has been named one of the “best regional theatres in America”.

PlayMakers Contacts: 
For press information and interviews, contact Diana Pineda, Director of Sales and Marketing, at dmpineda@email.unc.edu or 919.962.7114

For photos or poster art and other PlayMakers questions, please contact Rosalie Preston, Associate Director of Marketing, at rosalie@unc.edu or 919.962.6997