Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon
directed by Jessica Thebus
Originally produced at Northlight Theatre, Skokie, IL
November 10 - December 18, 2017
About the Premiere Production:
Synopsis: In this charmingly imagined sequel to Pride and Prejudice, Mary Bennet is growing tired of her role as dutiful middle sister in the face of her siblings' romantic escapades. When the family gathers for Christmas at Pemberley, an unexpected guest sparks Mary's hopes for independence, an intellectual match, and possibly even love. This romantic comedy picks up two years after Jane Austen's beloved tale ended, wtih a clever and captivating style that will delight Austen aficionados and newcomers alike!
Artistic Statement: "We are thrilled to be able to produce the World Premiere Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Laura Gunderson and Margot Melcon. Northlight has had tremendous success in staging both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin, and the addition to this imagined sequel centering on Mary Bennet is an exciting opportunity to revisit the Austen tradition while pursuing Northlight's mission and tradition of developing new plays. Clearly the appetite for the Austen genre remains strong among audiences nation-wide and the opportunity to develop a fresh look at these characters is an exciting prospect. Jessica Thebus who directed and created our world premiere production Shining Lives: A Musical will helm this production. Her own rendering of Pride and Prejudice at Northwestern University last season was wildly successful and the collaboration with Lauren Gunderson and Margo Melcon is an exciting prospect for all of them. We included Miss Bennet in our Interplay reading series last April with an audience which numbered around 100 people. Our Interplay audience has had an integral part in developing our World Premieres such as Chapatti, Outgoing Tide, and White Guy on the Bus, all of which have been nominated for Jeff Awards with Outgoing Tide, winning a Jeff. This also gives us an opportunity to encourage collaboration early on in our process of development. It gives us the unique opportunity to see our selected cast members actually reading their roles and begin to build an ensemble. In addition we are excited about the opportunity to cast the play multi-culturally which has been the author's and director's intention from its inception. This fresh approach to a classic newly rendered is completely in keeping with our mission and will advance our brand artistically as well as continue to establish Northlight as a leading producer of new work." —BJ Jones
Grant Statement: The grant from the Edgerton Foundation will provide us with one extra week rehearsal time which is critical for the development of new work. We are incredibly grateful for the support of the Edgerton Foundation.
Cast: Samantha Beach, Emily Berman, Alex Goodrich, Erik Hellman, Jennifer Latimore, Tosin Morohunfola, Alia Peck, and Bri Sudia.
Set Designer: Rick and Jackie Penrod
Lighting Designer: Sarah Hughey
Costume Designer: Melissa Torchia
Sound Designer: Kevin O'Donnell
Dialect Coach: Adam Goldstein
Props: Amanda Hermann
Literary Manager: Lauren Shouse
Stage Manager: Kimberly McCann
Additional Funders Supporting Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley: ComEd, BMO Harris Bank, Shubert Foundation, The Sullivan Family Foundation, and MacArthur Foundation.