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Sense and Sensibility

Kat Petty, 2024

Fall brings many delights, including pumpkin spice lattes and college football, but it is also bringing to Mount Vernon the theatre department’s spectacular fall mainstage, Sense and Sensibility! The MVAllstars are tackling Austen in this fun, contemporary version of the classic adapted for the stage by Kate Hamill, which has been called “a bouncy, jaunty take on Austen” and “an unconditional delight” (New York Times). The play follows two sisters, sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne, as they tackle life’s various challenges, including eviction, romance, sickness, and betrayal. When the sisters are evicted from their home at Norland Park after their father’s death, they must move to the country with their boisterous cousin Sir John Middleton and his even more boisterous mother-in-law. The girls struggle to establish themselves socially and find love, interacting with comedic characters such as sweet but awkward Edward, their half-brother John Dashwood and his cruel wife Fanny, well-meaning Colonel Brandon, and the mysterious Mr. Willoughby. Constantly watching and commenting on their lives are a group of Gossips, who serve as a kind of greek chorus and provide a meta-commentary on gossip and theatre itself. 

The show is funny, heartfelt, and dramatic and explores themes of logic vs emotion, wealth and greed, social class, love, and family. It features elements of physical theatre and is impressively technical, and the stage is in constant movement as the cast constantly assembles new stage pictures in a whirlwind of furniture and props. “It’s really cool that we have so much motion in the show,” says Addie Vogt, a senior in the cast. “It’s something we haven’t really explored to this extent before.” Addie is playing Elinor, who she describes as “a very internal person [who] has a lot of emotions but keeps it inside for the sake of being sensible, which doesn’t always work out to her advantage.” 

The Cast:

Miller Woodall and Addie Vogt as Marianne and Elinor

William Nix, Jesse Sherill, Natalie Fiacco, Kat Petty, Piper Hendryx, Alyssa Gershon Palma, Dennis Norman, Fiza Sewani, Caleb Campbell, Daisy Whittington, and Sonoma Peterson. It also features resident guest artist Kathleen McManus

Clark Taylor is directing the production. 

The Crew

Stage Manager – Shea Griffith,

Caroline Putnam, Holly Vogt, Henry Houghton, Trey Ruteck, Ernest Gephard, Carter Alewin, Katie Day Shwart, Claire Shwart, Chloe Bastien, Alastair Roche, Sydney Smith, Retta Ducket, Jewel Mayfield, Colin Walker, Lily Tuck, Audrey Brown

Sense and Sensibility will be performed on October 20th, 21st, and 22nd in the Black Box Theatre on the Mount Vernon upper campus. Buy your tickets now