Jane Austen is alive and well in the Antelope Valley. It’s Only Tuesday Productions has brought the novelist’s greatest work Pride and Prejudice back to life with Helen Jerome’s adaptation for the stage. It may have been a great part of two centuries since Pride and Prejudice made its entrance into the literary world but the great tale of morality, love, and marriage remains as meaningful and captivating today as it did in 1813.
It’s Only Tuesday Productions is a local community theatre group that is passionate for the theatre and strives to provide the best theatrical experience so that the community can truly feel the magic that is experienced in live-action theatre. They have accomplished that and more with their production of Pride and Prejudice this July. They have brought Jane Austen’s dramatic and emotional world to life with a poignancy that just radiates passion. IOTP has been a part of Community Theatre for 9 years and was founded by husband and wife team Wayne and Margaret Berry. Their passion for the theatre has led to amazing productions of plays and musicals for almost a decade and this passion shows in their casts and crew.
Emotions ran high during the play Saturday night at the Arbor Court Community Theatre. The cast was expertly chosen and were imbued with all the feelings, traits, and rationales of their characters. Any fan of Pride and Prejudice can discuss at length the importance of having the proper people portraying characters such as Mrs. Bennet, Elizabeth Bennet, Jane Bennet, and of course Mr. Darcy. Director K.M Treanor knew exactly what to look for when choosing these important roles, and made excellent choices. Mrs. Bennet and her fanaticism for marrying off her young daughters to eligible, and wealthy, men was perfectly embodied in actress Rachel Jennings-Tafarella. Jennings-Tafarella was over-the-top in the most opportune moments, especially those moments when she realized her daughters just might get exactly as she wanted for them.
Emily Nelson was an exquisite Elizabeth Bennet. While most Pride and Prejudice lovers expect a more morose, or withdrawn Elizabeth with her sarcasm spilling over in dribbles across the stage and all over its inhabitants, Nelson made excellent use of sweetness and smiles in addition to the quick spurts of sarcasm and pride we all love from our dear Lizzie. Nelson made excellent use of raw emotion in her scenes and seemed to have her own little Lizzie hiding in the folds of her costume all evening. In her tête-à-têtes with Mr. Darcy (Daniel Basquez) the chemistry and emotions between the two characters was real and powerful and left the audience in a puddle of emotion. Her interactions with Mr. Collins (Kody Baisch) were humorous and mood-lightening leaving the audience ready for more.
The cast worked so well together it left everyone in the audience awed and incredibly entertained. The production shows exactly what is so great about local community theater. It not only brings together people with a shared love, it is also an excellent teaching tool for communication, the meaning of community, and the importance of art in all its amazing forms. If you are a lover of the theatre or are interested in checking out this incredible production or future productions from IOTP please visit their website for more information. Pride and Prejudice will continue playing at the Arbor Court Community theatre until July 23rd.