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A Brief Biography of Jane Austen

S&S posterJane Austen (16 December 1775 – 18 July 1817) spent most of her 41 years living quietly with immediate family members in the English village of Steventon and Chawton, Hampshire. Her father was rector of the parish church at Steventon for many years, and took in pupils to supplement his modest income. Jane was the seventh of eight children born to her parents, and the second of only two girls. (Jane and her older sister Cassandra were extremely close throughout Jane’s life, as evidenced by their many letters to one another.)

Jane Austen goodJane received most of her education from her parents. Interested in writing from an early age, she wrote many short humorous pieces to be read at family gatherings. As an adult, she continued this practice, but began to write longer works—still with no thought of publication. In 1795 she finished Elinor and Marianne, (the prototype for Sense & Sensibility), and in 1796 she wrote First Impressions (which would become Pride and Prejudice).

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Dance and Music in SENSE & SENSIBILITY

S&S posterIf you’ve ever seen a screen adaptation of any of Jane Austen’s works, you may have noticed that dancing plays a significant part in the social life of her characters. Whether it’s Anne in Persuasion, who is considered an old maid and consequently is expected to play the piano while her younger cousins dance with the man she loves…or the drama of who dances with whom in Emma, an instance where dance really moves the plot along…or the younger Bennett sisters in Pride and Prejudice constantly clamoring to dance, or the tense conversation between Elizabeth and Darcy during several dances in that same novel…Austen uses dancing in dramatic, specific ways to advance plot and reveal character.

Sense and Sensibility is no exception, although it is not dancing per se which is the key to the London ballroom scene in Act 2.  Nonetheless, the dances need to be right, and there was only one place to turn:

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The cast of SENSE & SENSIBILITY

PR photo

Lydia Tomaszewski as Marianne (left) and Rebekah Fodrey as Elinor (right)

We are pleased to have a mix of afO regulars and fantastic new talent in our upcoming production. These twelve hard-working actors, all volunteers who come together three nights a week from other jobs or schooling, are having a wonderful time creating a play which will delight and uplift our audiences next month.

 

Here is the cast in alphabetical order:

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Producing SENSE & SENSIBILITY

S&S posterNext month, afO brings a beloved author’s work back to our stage. Jane Austen’s Emma was an audience favorite back in 2012. This time, we are presenting the area premiere of a lively new adaptation of Austen’s Sense & Sensibility.  Just how lively, you ask?

This stage play moves at a gallop, with five catty Gossips leading the way, commenting on scenes, moving the other actors into place, and taking a number of key roles themselves.

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Famous Reformation-Era People and Terms You Need to Know

Luther PosterHere are short descriptions of the main historic figures and terms referred to in A Mighty Fortress and its new Prologue.

Being a bit familiar with them in advance will definitely help you to appreciate the events more thoroughly.

HISTORIC PEOPLE AND TERMS FOR YOU TO KNOW:

wyliffeJohn Wycliffe (ca 1320 to 1384): known as the “Morning Star” of the English Reformation, an Oxford seminary professor who publicly criticized the decadence of the clergy and the luxurious excess of the Church. He supported rendering the Scriptures into the language of the common people, and supervised a translation of the Bible from the Vulgate into Middle English. He died of a stroke in 1384. He was declared a heretic by the Catholic Church in 1415, and his remains were exhumed, burned, and cast into a river.

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