‘Sense and Sensibility’ coming to Oakland University stage Feb. 16-20

Oakland University’s (OU) School of Music, Theatre and Dance will present Sense and Sensibility from February 16-20 in Varner Studio Theatre on the OU campus.

Written by Kate Hamill and based on the novel by Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility is a story about resilience, society, family, and choices.

“Our play takes place in 1810, and follows the Dashwood sisters —sensible Elinor and sensitive Marianne — as they negotiate societal expectations and personal feelings,” said Karen Sheridan, director and distinguished professor of theatre at OU.

Marianne (Madeline Daunt) dreams as her sister Elinor (Emily Nichter) tries to make choices guided by sense in Kate Hamill’s new adaptation of ‘Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Photo courtesy JLBoone Photography

The all-student cast, who play multiple roles, includes Sarita Alvarado (Fanny), Aurora Ave-Lallement (Sir John), Madeline Daunt (Marianne), Kassie Dunaj (Mrs. Jennings), Mason Gaida (John Dashwood/John Willoughby), Isabella Goff (Mrs. Jennings), Princess Beyoncé Jones (Mrs. Dashwood), Olivia Kiefer (Anne Steele), Kyle Kiesler (Robert Ferrars), Gwyneth Labine (Lucy Steele), Katherine Lengyel (Margaret Dashwood), Emily Nichter (Elinor Dashwood), Antonio Vettraino (Edward Ferrars), and Jalen Wilson-Nelem (Col. Brandon).

“Having the opportunity to portray Elinor has truly been an unforgettable and privileged experience,” Nichter said. “I find I admire and relate to her character on so many levels, with her temperament and how she cares so deeply for those in her life, especially her family. Representing the ‘sense’ of Sense and Sensibility, she’s thoughtful, logical, observant, and maintains all the elements of propriety. But that doesn’t mean her feelings aren’t as passionate as her sister’s, she’s just better at concealing them — except for the moments she no longer can.

“I hope that those who attend this production can come together and celebrate the relationships in this play, with their struggles and triumphs, and find that those experiences of Jane Austen’s time are not so much different from our own,” she added.

For Vettraino, playing the role of Edward Ferrars has been “an amazing opportunity.”

“Period pieces can be very investing to act in when finding modern parallels, so for me, it’s been a blast to invest myself into this lovable character, while also entering the world of the 1800s,” he said. “I hope audiences see a piece of all us in our characters. I’m also really honored to be back performing in the Studio Theatre after two years due to COVID for my final production at Oakland.”

Performances will be held on the following dates and times:

• Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 8 p.m.

• Thursday, Feb. 17 at 8 p.m.

• Friday, Feb. 18 at 8 p.m.

• Saturday, Feb. 19 at 2 and 8 p.m.

• Sunday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for general admission and $8 for students and can be purchased online at ETix.com.

For more information, contact box office manager Megan Herald at smtdboxoffice@oakland.edu.

Important health and safety information:

Oakland University has instituted a COVID vaccine mandate for audiences in the Studio Theatre and the Lab Theatre because of the intimate proximity of the performers and audience. Audience members should be prepared to show their vaccination cards and photo ID along with their OU health screening results. We will not save or photograph the documents, nor keep records of any sort. Unvaccinated individuals who wish to attend a performance must show both proof of a medical exemption and a recent negative COVID test in order to be admitted.

All guests MUST complete a daily health screening form before arrival to campus and present documentation of approval to come to campus at check-in. At this time, masks are required for entry to any building on campus.

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