PCPA will present the West Coast premiere of “Emma,” adapted for the stage by Joseph Hanreddy from the novel by Jane Austen, March 2-19 in the Marian Theatre, and June 22-July 2 in the Solvang Festival Theatre.
Romantic misadventures, misplaced confidence, and matchmaking in the town of Highbury.
“Emma” was commissioned and developed by People’s Light Theater, with additional development with and for the Pacific Conservatory Theatre – PCPA.
“Emma” is the third Jane Austen novel that Hanreddy has adapted for the stage, in addition to “Pride and Prejudice,” and “Sense and Sensibility” (with J.R. Sullivan), both of which have had productions at major theaters in the U.S. and abroad, including PCPA.
“I love Jane Austen, and clearly, I am not alone,” said director Polly Firestone. “Her relatively small body of work has spawned countless films, television adaptations, academic explorations, societies, spin-offs, spoofs; the list goes on.
“In ‘Emma,’ our heroine faces a long journey, despite her kind heart, good fortune, beautiful looks and clever mind. In fact, it is those very gifts that lead to her greatest faults: arrogance, thoughtlessness, and an unshakable belief in everything she thinks.
“Jane Austen herself wrote that Emma would be a protagonist that ‘no-one but myself will much like.’ Yet Miss Austen was mistaken,” Firestone said. “Emma is beloved by countless readers, as we recognize her mistakes are purely human, the result of her own strong character and a doting father and governess.
“But there is always room for laughter, as all of Austen’s works have comedy at their root. It is the laughter of loving recognition at the foibles of humanity: hypochondria, garrulousness, pride, over-familiarity, gossip, mis- communication. The characters that inhabit Highbury may behave ridiculously at times, but never are they caricatures.”
The cast features Emily Trask as Emma; Jordan Stidham, guest and PCPA alumni as Mr. Knightley; Mark Booher as Mr. Woodhouse; Phoebe DuBois as Mrs. Weston; Andrew Philpot as Mr. Weston; Julia Mae Abrams as Harriet Smith; George Walker as Mr. Elton; Kitty Balay as Miss. Bates; Lottie Arnold as Jane Farirfax; and Kennon Hooks as Frank Churchill.
For tickets, visit www.pcpa.org or call the box office, 805-922-8313.