Lee Theatre To Present “Sense And Sensibility”

Monday, October 25, 2021 - by Shayna Ryan, Lee University
Elinor (played by Carolyn Etzel) and Marianne (played by Ashley Mills) looking forward to a picnic in Lee Theatre’s “Sense and Sensibility”
Elinor (played by Carolyn Etzel) and Marianne (played by Ashley Mills) looking forward to a picnic in Lee Theatre’s “Sense and Sensibility”

Lee Theatre will premiere “Sense and Sensibility” by Kate Hamill for two weekends, Nov. 5-6 and 11-13. All performances will be at 7:30 p.m. in the university’s Dixon Center. 

The family-friendly fall play was originally intended for spring 2020, but was never performed due to the COVID pandemic.  

“This has been a very unique experience,” said Dr. Christine Williams, professor of theatre and director of the play. “It is not often that as a theatre director you get the opportunity to direct a show once and then try it again.  Because of the time between, we have had the opportunity to make some changes to how we were approaching the play.” 

Since the spring of 2020, Lee Theatre has had the set and many other items for the production in storage. Four students from the original spring 2020 cast are returning for this production of the show.

“For me, what began as a pretty lighthearted ode to Jane Austen and period comedies has become a testament to the resilience of the arts,” said senior theatre and theology major Carolyn Etzel, who plays Elinor Dashwood in this year’s show and was also a member of the 2020 cast. “We were just two weeks away from opening our previous production before being shut down for COVID, and now getting to resurrect the show is powerful. Not only are we finishing what we started almost two years ago, but we are also getting to make live art in community with one another again. That’s what theatre is.” 

Set in late 18th century England, “Sense and Sensibility” follows the fortunes and misfortunes of the Dashwood sisters after the sudden death of their father. Left with no money, little social standing, and vulnerable to societal pressures, the audience follows the reactions of the two sisters, both the reasonable and absurd.  

According to Dr. Williams, “Sense and Sensibility” was chosen because it is a new, fresh adaptation of the well-known Jane Austen novel that the department felt would be enjoyed by the community. The show is fast paced, goes many different places, and is written with a “Gossip Chorus” of actors who play many different parts, yet it still maintains the original feel of the classic Austen novel.  

“I love period plays that are hilarious but also allow me to do some digging into the characters and themes, and this show is just that,” said Ms. Etzel. “I hope the audience feels how excited we are to be back and how much it means to revive what the pandemic paused.” 

At this time, all shows are planned to have in-person, live performances, open to the public. The community is invited, and encouraged, to attend. Lee Theatre follows the university’s COVID-19 guidelines, and protocols will be observed based on CDC recommendations at the time of the performance. 

Tickets are available for purchase on Eventbrite and at the box office located in the Communication Arts Building. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for seniors and children. 

For more information on Lee Theatre, visit www.leeuniversity.edu/theatre. To purchase tickets, visit https://leeu-theatre.eventbrite.com/ or contact Lee Theatre at theatre@leeuniversity.edu or 614-8360. 


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