Season Selects: Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility

Posted March 23, 2022

Ss Season Select V2

Choosing which plays to see in a season is always a tough decision. But we've got you! Learn a little more about the unique greatness of each of this summer's plays in the weekly Season Selects series. This week, Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, adapted by Jessica Swale.

Jane Austen’s

Sense and Sensibility

Adapted by Jessica Swale
Directed by Marti Lyons

Fast Facts

Playing: Hill Theatre | June 17 – October 9
Featuring: Featuring Tracy Michelle Arnold, Sarah Day, Ty Fanning, Tim Gittings, Jamal James, Brian Mani, Samantha Newcomb, Nancy Rodriguez, Laura Rook & Marcus Truschinski
Genre: Romance / Period Drama
Go If You Liked: Pride and Prejudice (2015), Cyrano de Bergerac (2017)
Last at APT: Never! Originally slated for 2020.

About the Play

Batten down your bonnet – Jane Austen returns to the Hill with this soaring romance. All the lovers are here. The get-swept-off-your-feet-in-the-rain type, shoulder to shoulder with the considered, slow-burning dreamers who pine away the days until they will…or they won’t. But look closer, and we see that all the circles are concentric. There’s the complex and unbreakable love between sisters; between mothers and children; husbands and wives – some for better, some for worse. And at the center, a quartet of women who absorb their hardships and come out the other side singing. This one’s sure to get even the most stalwart heart racing – a beautiful, swirling saga about all the ways we love.

As you likely know it’s Women’s History Month. APT has quite the line-up of women at the helm of this season’s plays, including directors, playwrights, designers, specialists and a whole host of talented women both on stage and behind the scenes. But let's focus in a bit on one of the most beloved writers of all time, and her very first published story.

Jane Austen. Where do we even start? She’s one of the world’s most-read novelists, and yet she wasn’t considered a writer during her lifetime. She was a keen observer of relationships and romance, yet she never married. Her influence on movies, television and culture has carried on for over a century, yet she only lived for 41 years. Sense and Sensibility was her first novel, published anonymously with the help of her brother. In fact, on the original title page of Sense and Sensibility, the byline read simply "By a Lady." Be that as it may, the novel sold completely out within two years. Apparently the Lady was pretty good at her job. We could go on all day. But we won’t. Learn more at the Jane Austen Society.

Artistic Director Brenda DeVita says:

"When we produced our first Austen play, Pride and Prejudice in 2015, the enthusiasm was kind of amazing. I mean, who doesn’t love Jane Austen? And her stories are a wonderful fit for our audience and our company. Her storytelling is so graceful, and her grasp of human emotions, and the deals we make with ourselves to balance happiness with our own sense of duty, and identity, and self-worth is all so relatable, and at the same time so lush and romantic. Jessica Swale’s adaptation really focuses in on the relationship between these sisters, these women, and their love for each other, without sidelining their feelings for the men in their lives. And it’s all anchored in the reality of the time they’re living in, and the demands made of women during those times. Marti Lyons, the director, adapted and directed last season’s glorious Cymbeline, and she’s been thinking about and working on this production since 2020. So we could not be more thrilled that its time has finally come, and that we’ll be sharing it with our audience in just a few short months. I can’t wait."