Nice Lakes Theater predicts wild, enjoyable journey in ‘Sense and Sensibility’ adaptation

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Don’t come to Nice Lakes Theater’s “Sense and Sensibility” anticipating to settle into the theatrical equal of a superb guide.

Fairly, straighten your seat again, elevate your tray desk, and fasten your seatbelt for what’s all however assured to be a bumpy journey.

“You’re simply consistently bouncing from one location to a different in all these modern methods,” mentioned Jaclyn Miller, co-director of the brand new manufacturing, together with Sara Bruner. “It feels prefer it’s a brand new method to one thing we all know and love.”

Neglect a lot of what you realize concerning the classical novel by Jane Austen. Come to think about it, let go, too, of any movie variations you’ll have seen.

The 2014 play by Kate Hamill – who’s additionally penned variations of “Self-importance Honest,” “Little Ladies,” and “Pleasure and Prejudice” – is one thing altogether totally different. It preserves the fantastic thing about Austen’s writing, the arc of the story, and the spirit of her major characters, sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, but additionally distills the story right into a fast-paced expertise targeted on these folks’s interior lives.

These Victorian ladies might spend their days knitting and enjoying piano, however on the within, going through and responding to social pressures of each type from each course, they’re something however calm.

“You wind up feeling the emotional stress in a manner you wouldn’t in the event that they have been simply sitting,” Miller mentioned. “It will get wild, however then it units up these lovely emotional moments. If you take area for that, it lands a lot stronger and hits a lot more durable.”

The forged for “Sense and Sensibility” is small, certainly the smallest doable, with simply eight actors. These eight, subsequently, have their work minimize out for them.

On this manufacturing, every should play a number of characters and execute difficult choreography whereas transferring quickly concerning the set. Some additionally fill out a refrain, gossiping concerning the play’s developments and ratcheting up the strain like commenters on social media.

Avid sports activities followers each, Miller and Bruner mentioned they couldn’t assist however consider themselves as soccer or basketball play callers. They transfer actors across the stage with objective and precision, wielding some as offense and others as protection, all of the whereas leaving room for spontaneity.

“It’s actually enjoyable,” Bruner mentioned. “Time goes to cross actually rapidly…It’s a manner of telling this story that solely theater can inform.”

That want to have action-packed enjoyable additionally knowledgeable the best way Bruner and Miller labored with designers Courtney O’Neill, Mieka van der Ploeg, and Erica Lauren Maholmes to carry the bodily world of the play to life.

They put collectively a dynamic set contrasting black-and-white prints from early variations of the revealed guide with an array of brilliant costumes, a disco ball, and different boldly coloured components. All of it, Bruner famous, all the best way right down to the material itself, is handmade and expressly designed to be eye-catching.

“We simply tried to create one thing that claims we’re undoubtedly right here to misbehave,” Bruner mentioned. “We get in there and muck it up and get wild and soiled.”

Bruner has been wanting to stage Hamill’s first main play ever since she noticed the opening manufacturing in New York in 2014. A fan of Austen’s writing satisfied of the writer’s genius, she marveled on the new however respectful vitality Hamill’s “Sense and Sensibility” delivered to the story.

She additionally had a rip-roaring good time. “They made whole magic in that room,” Bruner recalled of the primary manufacturing. “It form of by no means left my mind after that.”

Now Bruner and Miller hope to have an identical influence on others.

Hamill’s script goes far to make “Sense and Sensibility” related and fashionable. On the identical time, the administrators regard their manufacturing as an opportunity to remind viewers of theater’s timeless energy to entertain with out know-how or particular results.

Greater than that, although, each administrators mentioned they hope their “Sense and Sensibility” incites reflection, as engaged on it has in them. They need viewers to have enjoyable but additionally to consider the facility of phrases and the way all of us might stand to be slightly kinder.

“That’s been resonating with me so much as I watch this,” Miller mentioned. “It’s actually made me introspective in a manner no different play has earlier than. It’s been a singular expertise.”


Nice Lakes Theater

What: Kate Hamill’s “Sense and Sensibility”

When: Friday, Feb. 10-Sunday, March 5

The place: Hanna Theatre, Playhouse Sq., 2067 E. 14th St., Cleveland.

Tickets: $15-$89. Go to or name 216-241-6000.