Advanced Acting preparing to bring ‘Pride and Prejudice’ to Bearden stage


Hailey Kraft

Zane Gray, Marianne Dodson, Marshall Carpenter, and Alyse McCamish (left to right) rehearse for Advanced Acting’s performance of Pride and Prejudice.

Advanced Acting members are eager to perform an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, a 19th century English love story.

Mr. Glen Ellington spent a long time deciding whether or not to do this show, but with this year’s cast, he knew it would be the perfect fit.

Mr. Ellington opted for an adaptation which cuts the scenes with ballroom dancing. Those scenes would require an additional set, plus more male cast members.

“This is a good version because there’s five male parts and I have six guys, so I double cast one role,” Mr. Ellington said. “Other versions might have had more men, but this all happens inside the Bennett house.”

The class is borrowing some period furniture and costumes from Hardin Valley to make the show beautiful and true to the time. There are no special effects, just lights and music, so the actors will be mainly responsible for portraying the time.

While only one male role is double cast, nearly all of the female roles are.

Seniors Abigail Wood and Elena Alles are playing Elizabeth with juniors Alyse McAmish and Ashley Williams as Jane, Kylen Bailey and Jasmine Parrott as Charlotte, Margaret Barker as Miss Bingley, and Marianne Dodson and Anna Burklin as Mrs. Bennett.

Lead male roles include senior Ronnie Lauth as Mr. Darcy, junior Nathan Yeo as Mr. Bingley, and seniors Zane Gray and Casey Cain as Mr. Bennett.

More than half of the class has had Mr. Ellington in Drama 1, and there are four returning seniors.

“Everybody knows who these characters are, or at least the people (who have read Austen’s work),” Lauth said. “So we have to present what other people’s preconceptions are.”

Blocking is the number one priority for Mr. Ellington right now because people in the 1800s had distinct movements that he wants to recreate.

“The blocking is a lot to keep up with, but I think we have a really good cast,” Wood said. “I’d say most everyone in the class is friends with each other so that really helps chemistry on stage.”

Even though the cast works well together, the numerous snow days have cut the rehearsals short.

“We definitely are going to need some more after-school rehearsal time,” Lauth said. “We haven’t blocked much, so it’s hard to remember what we’ve just blocked.

“We’re gonna have to work extra hard and pay more attention in class. We can’t dilly-dally.”

Performances for Pride and Prejudice are on April 3 and 4 at 7:30 and April 5 at 2:30 and 7:30.

Auditions for next year’s Advanced Acting class are on March 10.