campus news & events

Colby-Sawyer College Presents Theater Production of 'Pride and Prejudice' in Partnership with S.K.I.T. (Sunapee-Kearsarge Intercommunity Theatre)

NEW LONDON, N.H. – Colby-Sawyer College will present a stage adaptation of Jane Austen's classic novel, “Pride and Prejudice” – a humorous and romantic story set among the English aristocracy in the Georgian era – for its annual fall theatre production. This spirited production is the result of a new collaboration between the college and Sunapee-Kearsarge Intercommunity Theatre, better known as S.K.I.T.

The play, written by Jane Kendall, is directed by S.K.I.T. member and a long-time costume designer for Colby-Sawyer productions, Deborah Barton. The story chronicles the journey of Elizabeth Bennet as she navigates the complex and comical expectations of a young woman from a slightly down-at-the-heels aristocratic family to behave impeccably and capture an impossibly wealthy and handsome husband.

Performances of “Pride and Prejudice” will run from Thursday, Nov. 5, through Saturday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m., with the final show, a matinee, on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. All performances will take place in the theatre at the Sawyer Fine and Performing Arts Center. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students/children and free with a Colby-Sawyer I.D. The box office is open from 4 to 6 p.m. starting on Nov. 2. For reservations call (603) 526-3670.

The production will feature a cast of talented actors, which include community members and Colby-Sawyer students The roles of Miss Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy will be played by students Suzanna Brown '10 and Jaycee McCarthy '10, with community members Charley Freiberg and Linda Lambert performing the roles of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. Brother and sister Chris and Margaret McCarthy will take on the roles of Mr. Charles Bingley and Miss Caroline Bingley.

The roles of the other Bennet sisters will be performed by Abbie Morse (Jane), Christine Wertz (Mary), Paula McKinley (Catherine) and Rose Poney (Lydia). Kayla Pingree has the role of Hill, with Kayleigh Flynn as Charlotte Lucas, Heather Jacques as Lady Lucas and Bonnie Lewis as Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Joe Delaney will play the role of George Wickham and Charles Moak that of William Collins.

The production team includes Stage Manager Jay Lambert, Assistant Stage Managers Meghan Hardiman and Katherine Kelly, and Assistant to the Director Naomi Lavertue, as well as Technical Director Michael Lovell, Costumer Joshua M. Galligan and Costume Assistant Nina Rogers. The set construction crew includes Michael Bacote, Jay Braatz, Travis Carlson, Bill Egge, Andrew Francis, Charley Freiberg, Hester Fuller, Katherine Kelly, Michael Landi, Bonnie Lewis, Cam Mertz, Charles Moak, Cody Scherer and Adele Warner.

Bill Egge is the production coordinator, and the properties crew includes Kimberly Arena, Paul J. Hammerle, Samantha Parent, Megan Ruggiero, Cole Subik and Alex Washburn.

“Pride and Prejudice” is S.K.I.T.'s inaugural performance as the Theatre Company in Residence at Colby-Sawyer College for the 2009-2010 academic year. The partnership was initiated by Professor Loretta Barnett, chair of the college's Fine and Performing Arts Department, who saw it as a way to expand the college theatre program's opportunities to work more closely with community theatre and local community members. The partnership allows members of the Colby-Sawyer Players, a fledgling student organization, to take part in a college/community production, while S.K.I.T. benefits from the participation of the college's students and staff, as well as gains greater access to the resources provided by the Sawyer Center.

S.K.I.T., founded in 1993, is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) non-profit group dedicated to fund-raising for area charities and non-profit organizations through theatrical events. S.K.I.T. also provides scholarships to local high school students each spring through it scholarship fund. The group brings a variety of experience and talent to the Colby-Sawyer stage, enriching the experiences of both college and community members as they work in partnership.

The partnership benefits members of both S.K.I.T. and the college community in ways that could not be achieved without collaboration, according to Director Deborah Barton, who has been involved with both college and community theatre productions for more than 15 years. “There is the hope of reinforcing town-gown relations, and many community members interested in theatre and art who wanted to make sure the CSC Players have the support they need to be a successful theatre group,” she said.

As past Colby-Sawyer productions have been produced mainly by students, faculty and staff, the involvement of S.K.I.T. promises new experiences, bigger audiences, and a boost for the on-campus arts. President of the Colby-Sawyer Players Megan Ruggiero '10 explains, “'Pride and Prejudice' is a ground-breaking project for Colby-Sawyer theatre, and it's going to create a performing arts revival at the college. We're expecting record-breaking attendance and diverse audiences.”

S.K.I.T. President Linda Lambert expressed enthusiasm for the partnership, adding, “We are delighted to participate in this opportunity to revisit an old Colby-Sawyer tradition of town/gown productions in which students and community members work and play together on stage and behind the scenes.”

Director Barton also has high expectations for large crowds from outside the Colby-Sawyer community to attend performances of the play. S.K.I.T. has an immense following, so I am anticipating that the SKIT audience will be here for the performances. S.K.I.T. is opening a door to a whole new audience.”

Cast and crew members are steadily working toward opening night, devoting more than 15 hours of rehearsal time and preparation each week. Barton recognizes that the play demands a significant amount of time and effort from the college's students and staff members, as well as the members of SKIT, but she is thrilled by the level of dedication the cast and crew have put forth to make this partnership a success.

The Colby-Sawyer Players, in its second year as an organized campus club, seeks to involve students in theatre through various productions throughout the academic year. Players President Ruggiero expressed her enthusiasm for the new theatre partnership, concluding, “I have seen the idea of 'Pride and Prejudice' grow and blossom into a reality over the past year and can't wait to see the wonderful show that this partnership has created.”

-Jessica K. McLavey '10

Jessica K. McLavey is an English major and an intern in College Communications at Colby-Sawyer College.

Colby-Sawyer, founded in 1837, is a comprehensive liberal arts and sciences college located in the scenic Lake Sunapee Region of central New Hampshire. Students learn in small classes through a select array of programs that integrate the liberal arts and sciences with professional experience.

Colby-Sawyer College, 541 Main Street, New London, N.H. 03257 (603) 526-3000