Music, projections and a large cast will help make the production flow cinematically, the director said. Opening is May 24.
Created especially for the Geva Mainstage, the adaptation of the romantic novel was penned by artistic director Mark Cuddy and literary manager and resident dramaturg Marge Betley. Cuddy directs the production, which features Meghan Wolf as Elizabeth Bennet and David Christopher Wells (Lincoln Center Theater's The Rivals, The Coast of Utopia) as Mr. Darcy.
This world premiere features a cast of 24 "and incorporates innovative scenic concepts using some of the most technological advances available for the theatre today."
Cuddy said in a statement, "The entire Geva staff and creative team have embraced this project for the past year. What we hope to achieve is a fresh telling of Pride and Prejudice through dialogue, music and imagery. I think that the contemporary audience is looking for a way into this period that is more like the experience of reading a novel or watching a film. Our cinematic approach is a true expression of Jane Austen's language and locations. I'm hopeful that both Austen devotees and novices will find a seductive entrance to her work."
The design team includes G.W. Mercier (scenic and costume design), Peter Negrini (projection design), Robert Wierzel (lighting design), Lindsay Jones (sound design), Gregg Coffin (composer) and Meggins Kelley (choreographer). According to Geva, "Mrs. Bennet's chief aim is to see her daughters well-married. Lizzie has her own ideas about romance — and a fiery wit to match. Can a smart, young woman in 1810 England with little money and ho-hum prospects find true love? Only Mr. Darcy knows and he's too prideful to show it."
Jane Austen's novel "Pride and Prejudice" was published in 1813 and remains beloved today. According to Geva, in 2003 the BBC conducted a poll for the "UK's Best Loved Book," and "Pride and Prejudice" came in second behind "The Lord of the Rings."
For more information about Geva, call (585) 232-GEVA or visit www.gevatheatre.org.
Geva Theatre Center is Rochester's leading professional theatre and the most attended regional theatre in New York State. Founded in 1972, Geva attracts over 160,000 patrons annually, including more than 16,000 students. The 552-seat Elaine P. Wilson Mainstage offers a wide variety of shows, from musicals to American and world classics. The 180-seat Ron & Donna Fielding Nextstage is home to Geva Comedy Improv, American Voices New Play Reading Series, Hibernatus Interuptus Festival of New Plays, and to celebrate Geva's 35th Anniversary, TheatreFest.