Inglemoor High School (IHS) is going back in time — to the early 1800s to be exact.
For its first show of the new year, IHS is presenting “Pride and Prejudice,” based on the novel by Jane Austen.
Drama teacher Kevin Bliss chose this play because he feels the story is socially relevant to current society.
The story of “Pride and Prejudice” centers on the conflict between marrying for love and marrying for financial security. None of Mr. Bennet’s three daughters can inherit his estate, so they are pressured into securing “good” marriages. Elizabeth Bennet, the main character, struggles with the societal pressures and works to avoid falling for the rich and arrogant Mr. Darcy. Yet, both Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy overcome their prejudices and personal pride and fall in love.
“In a way, it may seem a little old fashioned, but it’s a story that ties into a lot with what’s happening in our society today,” Bliss said. “The story shows how women who had lower power can overcome and be independent, strong women — it ties a lot into the #MeToo movement.”
The cast is primarily made up of students in Bliss’s performance class. The cast has been working on this production since late October. According to Bliss, some of the greatest challenges in preparing for this production included accent coaching and striking a balance between “sincere and funny.”
“A lot of these kids have never tried speaking in an English accent and when you start trying to speak with an accent, it usually comes off too sophisticated and strong, which is not what the tone of this story calls for,” he said. “But now, we have this perfect balance of sincerity and funny satire.”
Sophomore Daisy Held, starring as Elizabeth, has been acting since she was 6 years old. “Pride and Prejudice” is her fourth production at IHS. She said she’s enjoyed playing Elizabeth in the show because it’s helped stretched her acting abilities.
“I really love ‘Pride and Prejudice’ — it’s so funny and relevant. While it’s fun, it’s also educating and important,” she said. “I’ve never played a part where I was in this love-hate relationship, so it’s really helped me expand my skills.”
Junior Sam Trott, starring as Mr. Darcy, has also been acting since early elementary school. For him, portraying Darcy also provides its challenges as he said he is almost the “complete opposite of Darcy.”
For both Held and Trott, performing in theater is “incredibly rewarding.”
“There’s nothing like hearing the audience laugh and engage with what’s happening on stage and knowing that you’re a part of that,” Held said.
IHS’s production of “Pride and Prejudice” will be at the IHS theater from Jan. 18-26. For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/y8hhdfm5.