Nebraska Rep opens season with ‘Sense and Sensibility’
calendar icon29 Sep 2023
Lincoln, Neb.--The Nebraska Repertory Theatre opens its 2023-2024 season with “Sense and Sensibility” by Kate Hamill. This is a modern adaptation of Jane Austen’s timeless classic novel.
Performances are Sept. 28-Oct. 7 in Howell Theatre. For showtimes and ticket information, visit https://nebraskarep.org. The production is directed by Assistant Professor of Practice Rafael Untalan.
“Sense and Sensibility” tells the story of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne, as they come of age.
“It is a story about two sisters learning how to navigate their world through many twists and turns,” said Alura Long, a junior acting major from Austin, Texas.
Long portrays Elinor Dashwood.
“It is such an honor to get to play her,” she said. “She seems, at first, to be very practical and reserved, but she feels and loves very deeply. I’ve loved getting to learn and grow right alongside her.”
Long said she loves the story and Hamill’s adaptation and is looking forward to sharing it with the audience.
“Expect to get swept away in a lively whirlwind,” she said. “There’s comedy, drama, music, romance—there really is something for everyone.”
Danielle Stolze, a sophomore acting major from Omaha, is Marianne Dashwood.
“Marianne Dashwood is a young woman who is very passionate and holds a romantic view of the world,” Stolze said. “She feel everything, all the time, at 100%. Because of this, it is cathartic to play this character as she openly reacts to and acts on all her emotions, instead of hiding them away.”
Stolze likes the story the two sisters go through.
“They are constantly trying to understand each other while staying true to their differing ideals,” she said. “I’m excited for the audience to see the sisters interact and their warring love and exasperation for each other.”
Gage Boardman, a senior performance major from Waterloo, Nebraska, said the work explores the clash between viewing the world through your head and your heart.
“Being a fan of Jane Austen’s work, I can confidently say that this is a faithful adaptation,” Boardman said. “We are producing Kate Hamill’s adaptation, which is almost a satire on a satire. We also play with gender bending in this production, which I think adds an extra layer to the fun of thei piece.”
Boardman plays Margaret Dashwood, who at age 12 is the youngest Dashwood sister.
“She’s a spitfire, imaginative and always wants to be in the know, and loves, loves LOVES puppies,” he said.
Boardman is looking forward to the challenge of portraying her.
“This is my first time performing in what could be considered ‘drag,’ and this will also be my first time playing a character this young,” he said. “As an only child, I have limited experience with kids besides when I was one, so it’s been so much fun discovering that youthfulness again. I also love the ensemble energy we’ve created with the gaggle of Gossips that are constantly watching and listening to every character’s word. They love to ‘spill the tea.’”
Ultimately, “Sense and Sensibility” is about love and is the story of sisterhood.
“You all should come to see it because it has struggles that relate to everyone: pushing aside your feelings to fit in with society, misunderstanding someone’s feelings for you, and the intense heartbreak that comes with losing someone you love,” Stolze said.
“Sense and Sensibility” will have a quick pace and heightened characters, Boardman said.
“There is also a tenderness and romance to the piece that anyone can connect with,” he said. “Audiences should come if they want to be transported back to a romantic 18th century England for a little escape from Lincoln, Nebraska.”