Jane Austen’s ‘Sense and Sensibility’ presented tonight at the Ford Center

Posted on Feb 13 2018 - 7:56am by Italiana Anderson

The University of Mississippi’s Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts will host the play “Sense and Sensibility” tonight with members of the Aquila Theatre Company.

The performers from the famous Aquila Theatre will bring Jane Austen’s critically acclaimed novel to life. The New York Times has called the Aquila Theatre “a classically trained, modernly hip troupe.”

“Sense and Sensibility” is one of Jane Austen’s first and most popular novels. She wrote it in 1795, but it was not published until 16 years later. This novel ties in with the tension of female inequality that Austen was feeling upon releasing her novel.  

In this novel, women’s choices are constrained and, at times, not even considered at all. It tells the story of the two Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne – Elinor is the sister that has her head on straight while Marianne has her head in the clouds. Their father dies unexpectedly, which forces the two sisters and their mother to leave their privileged lives behind and move into a cottage. Their half-brother and his wife take the family estate and leave them with nothing but hopes of finding rich husbands to support their needs. The two sisters become close with a few young men but soon find out that every man they come across is not a true gentleman.

Junior chemistry major Natalie Taylor said that when she was growing up, her parents encouraged her to read novels by Jane Austen and that the film adaptation of this novel is one of her favorites of all time.

“Both of my parents were bookworms when I was a kid, and they always talked about Jane Austen and how amazing her writing was,” she said. “As I got older, I read ‘Sense and Sensibility’ again at the age of 16 and connected with it on a different level than when I was younger. I understood it better, and I’m excited to see how it all comes together Tuesday night.”

“Sense and Sensibility” is a novel filled with humor, angst and romantic scenes that will definitely satisfy the hopeless romantic. It is a rewarding and complex story of how manners and matters of the heart have changed over time. The film adaptation, which debuted in December 1995 and stars Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet, is a poised and powerful portrayal of what Austen wrote almost a century ago.

Junior elementary education major Lindsay Roe said “Sense and Sensibility” is a timeless book she has read over and over.

“It’s a classic book with very modern tendencies. The way Austen confronts most women’s rise to power during these times through marrying a successful man is so real and raw,” she said. “The novel was way better than the movie to me. I have never seen it performed on stage, so I am looking forward to that.”

The Aquila Theatre Company performers have performed all over the country, and have now chosen to grace the Ford Center’s stage.

Curtain for “Sense and Sensibility” is set for 7:30 tonight at the Ford Center, and tickets can be purchased online or at the Ole Miss Box Office.