Behind the scenes at Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Pride and Prejudice Opens Friday!

We are so, so, soooo close to having the Classic Rep entirely on its feet!  This past week, we’ve been meticulously rehearsing the technical elements of Pride and Prejudice.  I had assumed that Pride tech wouldn’t take as long as Midsummer tech did, considering we didn’t have the same kind of fantastical effects to deal with… but we ended up using every second of tech rehearsal!


Trent Fucci (Mr. Wickham) and Kristin Shirilla (Lydia Bennet)

Pride and Prejudice, the novel, has a ton of different settings.  The stage adaptation simply can’t have an entirely different set for every locations—the show would take days!  Our production is using about ten gold chairs and a bunch of lighting cues to indicate a change of scene, which means every chair placement has to be just right to match up with the light cues.  Additionally, our back wall has six sets of doors, and we had an entire rehearsal devoted to when and how each door is opened or closed, and which cast members or stage crew is responsible for them.  Between “chair-eography” and “door-eography,” we were kept hoppin’ right up to the last minute of tech.


The Bennet Family

Our first full dress rehearsal was Tuesday evening, and the OST costume shop has truly outdone itself on the gorgeous Regency-era clothes.  The women look beautiful, the men look quite dashing, and the costumes are also quick-change ready.  Many of the cast members play multiple characters, and quite a few of them have to go back and forth from servants to ball guests in no time at all.  The costume crew members are rock stars about rehearsing and running quick changes, especially since the ratio of costume changes to crew members is quite high.  Things have gone pretty smoothly so far (knock on wood), and I’m sure they will only get easier over the course of the run.

Kelli Rose Sleigh (Kitty Bennet), Trent Fucci (Mr. Wickham), and Kristin Shirilla (Lydia Bennet)

First preview was Wednesday night and, as I’ve said in an earlier post, the sheer energy an audience contributes to a show is invaluable.  Over the course of rehearsals, the cast becomes so involved in their characters and the work that needs to be done that we sometimes forget how funny a show is.  Personally, I’d forgotten how silly some of the characters are (myself included), and it was really lovely to have the audience remind us of that.  We’ve spent so much time with our noses to the proverbial grindstone on this show that now, with the audience’s assistance, we can really enjoy the production we’ve collaborated on… and you can enjoy it too!


About Kristin Shirilla

Kristin is a recent graduate of Ohio University’s BFA acting program, an Orlando Shakes acting intern for the 2010-2011 season.  Don’t miss her in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Mustardseed or in Pride and Prejudice as the spoiled Lydia Bennett. Ohio University credits include THE TEMPEST (Miranda), ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA (Octavia, Lepidus, and more) and LOVE’S LABOURS LOST (Moth)


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