Do you hate when you’re halfway into a great script and run into subject matter that wouldn’t suit your audience? Or you get the PERFECT script and realize you can’t change the words? Finding plays for traditional audiences is becoming increasingly more difficult. Here’s a helpful list of 6 entertaining shows suitable for all eyes and ears to save you time in your search.
- Chemical Imbalance: A Jekyll and Hyde Play
- The Curious Savage
- Pride and Prejudice
- Sense and Sensibility
- Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
- The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley
7W, 4M (Doubling/Flexible Casting)
A darkly comic adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. In Victorian England, repressed impulses burst their corsets as Dr. Jekyll’s experiments in the nature of evil threaten to reveal the bloody hands beneath the gloves of the British Empire. A fast-paced romp about men and women tightrope walking the line between aristocracy and depravity, and between the twin spectres of good and evil.
Mrs. Savage has been left ten million dollars by her husband and wants to make the best use of it, in spite of her grown-up stepchildren’s efforts to get their hands on it. Knowing that the widow’s wealth is now in negotiable securities, and seeing they cannot get hold of the fortune, the stepchildren commit her to a sanatorium hoping to “bring her to her senses.” In the sanatorium, Mrs. Savage meets various social misfits, men, and women who just cannot adjust themselves to life, people who need the help Mrs. Savage can provide. In getting to know them, she realizes that she will find happiness with them and plans to spend the rest of her life as one of them. But when the doctor tells her there is no reason why she should remain, she hesitates to go out into a hard world where people seem ready to do anything for money. The self-seeking stepchildren are driven to distraction by their vain efforts to browbeat Mrs. Savage, but she preserves her equanimity and leads them on a merry chase. At last her friends conspire to get rid of her stepchildren, and through their simple belief in the justice of her cause, they enable Mrs. Savage to carry out her plans to establish a fund to help others realize their hopes and dreams. The dominant mood is high comedy, and the audience is left with a feeling that the neglected virtues of kindness and affection have not been entirely lost in a world that seems at times motivated only by greed and dishonesty.
2M / 3W
This isn’t your grandmother’s Austen! Bold, surprising, boisterous, and timely, this P&P for a new era explores the absurdities and thrills of finding your perfect (or imperfect) match in life. The outspoken Lizzy Bennet is determined to never marry, despite mounting pressure from society. But can she resist love, especially when that vaguely handsome, mildly amusing, and impossibly aggravating Mr. Darcy keeps popping up at every turn?! Literature’s greatest tale of latent love has never felt so theatrical, or so full of life than it does in this effervescent adaptation. Because what turns us into greater fools…than the high-stakes game of love?
4-9W, 3-8M (doubling, flexible casting)
A playful new adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel follows the fortunes (and misfortunes) of the Dashwood sisters—sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne—after their father’s sudden death leaves them financially destitute and socially vulnerable. Set in gossipy late 18th-century England, with a fresh female voice, the play is full of humor, emotional depth, and bold theatricality. Sense and Sensibility examines our reactions, both reasonable and ridiculous, to societal pressures. When reputation is everything, how do you follow your heart?
Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon
A sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice set two years after the novel ends, Miss Bennet continues the story, only this time with bookish middle-sister Mary as its unlikely heroine. Mary is growing tired of her role as dutiful middle sister in the face of her siblings’ romantic escapades. When the family gathers for Christmas at Pemberley, an unexpected guest sparks Mary’s hopes for independence, an intellectual match, and possibly even love.
Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon
In this delightful companion play to Miss Bennet, Gunderson and Melcon once again bring Austen’s beloved characters to the stage for a yuletide sequel to Pride and Prejudice. While Miss Bennet depicted the newly wed Darcys’ Christmas gathering on the ground floor of Pemberley, The Wickhams takes audiences to the downstairs servants’ quarters for that same celebration. Mrs. Reynolds, a no-nonsense housekeeper; Cassie, an eager new maid; and Brian, a lovesick footman, are bustling with preparations for holiday guests. But their work is interrupted by the midnight arrival of the definitely not invited Mr. Wickham—Lydia’s rogue of a husband and Mr. Darcy’s sworn enemy. The Wickhams is a charming holiday tale that explores the confines of class and the generosity of forgiveness.
All of these audience-appropriate plays and many more are at your fingertips. Ask us about our favorites!