Saturday, April 1, 2023

Austen classic comes to campus

Plattsburgh State will host a performance of Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” by Pendragon Theatre 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the E. Glenn Giltz Auditorium in Hawkins Hall. Tickets are on sale the day of the show only at Giltz in Hawkins Hal. Prices are $20 general admission, $10 for students, and $5 for PSUC students at 6:30 p.m.

The Pendragon Theatre, a professional ensemble of artists based in the Adirondacks, is currently touring “Pride and Prejudice”and is making seven stops across the Adirondack region. PSUC theater professor Laura-Jean Swanson and senior theater student Gabby Dion are acting in the play.

“Pride and Prejudice” is summarized as, “The outspoken Elizabeth Bennet faces mounting pressure from her status-conscious mother to secure a suitable marriage. But is marriage suitable for a woman of Elizabeth’s intelligence and independence? Especially when the irritating, aloof, self-involved…tall, vaguely handsome, mildly amusing, and impossibly aristocratic Mr. Darcy keeps popping up at every turn?! Literature’s greatest tale of latent love has never felt so theatrical, or so full of life, than it does in this effervescent adaptation” according to the Pendragon Theatre.

Swanson, a member of the Pendragon’s cast said, “As for the show, it combines  the classic romantic story line with a few very zany characters. Farcical components are as much at the forefront as the main romantic storyline.”

Breyha  Morgan, PSUC junior TV and video productions major and theater minor said, “I am excited to see the play. I have heard a lot about the Pendragon Theatre from my professors and they have made me excited about the performance.”

The Kate  Hamill adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” is family-friendly and features Amy Stringer, Philip Rosen, Rachel Kemp, Manley Gavich, Gabrielle Dion, Laura-Jean Swanson, Emma Simon and Evan Raines.

“Hamill…has  a gift for condensing three-volume novels into galloping two-act plays. Her screwball ‘Pride and Prejudice’…is as frolicsome as her earlier efforts. It hasn’t met a rib it can’t tickle”, according to The New York Times.

“There are  some very funny comedic bits in the show, including innovative scene transitions,” Swanson said. “This adaptation is extremely fast paced.  Kate Hamill seems to be the darling of the Theatre world now. Her adaptation of another Jane Austen novel, ‘Sense and Sensibility’ is slated for Broadway in the spring.”

Students are also getting excited for the performance.

“I’m excited for the show overall, but I am especially excited to see one of my fellow classmates and professors in it as well,” Dani Houck, PSUC sophomore theater major said. “I know it is going to be great.”

Look  for other presentations by the PSUC theatre department later in the semester: Susan Glaspell’s “Trifles” Oct. 18-20 and Qui Nguyen’s “She Kills Monsters” Nov. 1-4.


Email Keely Cohen-Breen at

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