Pride and Prejudice


"Pride and Prejudice"

Bluffton University’s spring play, “Pride and Prejudice"

The retelling of "pride and Prejudice"

Audience members will be transported to the Regency era of England during Bluffton University’s spring play, “Pride and Prejudice.” Kate Hamill adapted the beloved novel by Jane Austen for the stage, and director Melissa Friesen is delighting in the amplified antics present in this retelling. 

“Most people don’t think comedy when they think ‘Pride and Prejudice,’ but this version is very funny. The characterizations are pushed to the extreme in some cases and the situations are comic,” explained Friesen, also a professor of theatre and communication at Bluffton. “While this adaptation follows the basic plot, there are definite divergences in how the characters are portrayed.” 

While the novel has a large cast of characters, this version was written for as few as eight performers. Twelve actors will grace the stage of Ramseyer Auditorium for Bluffton’s version which includes two choreographed ball scenes, era-appropriate artwork/landscapes and multiple costume changes.

“It’s been quite an experience with the costumes,” explained Friesen. “I called Brit Mustard, our costume designer, early on to make sure we could pull off a costume drama. We didn’t have anything in our collection for this time period except maybe black pants!”

Costumes for the play are being sourced in a variety of ways and are funded through a generous Arts at Bluffton grant. Some were found online thanks to the growth in Regency-era interest due to shows like “Bridgerton” and “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.” Others were rented from places like Ohio Northern University’s theatre department. Some are being sewn including every piece senior Abby Bush wears as Elizabeth Bennet. 

Mustard, a 2012 Bluffton graduate, served as a costume assistant as an undergraduate student. This is her third Bluffton production as the costume designer, and to get a handle on all the work, she organized multiple community sewing days. 

“We had all levels of skill come and help and all were useful and greatly appreciated,” said Mustard. “The actors have put in a lot of work, and I can’t wait to see the characters really take shape on the stage with the help of the costumes.”

The play has an all-hands-on-deck feel this semester as many of the cast and crew are serving in multiple ways. Four cast members, Bush, Jasmine DeJesus, Adara Fuerst and Jordyn Garmatter are members of Friesen’s play production class and have worked on additional aspects of the play ranging from hair design to choreography. 

“It’s a lot of fun to see the different ideas we’ve brainstormed and how it’s all coming together,” said DeJesus. 

Performances of “Pride and Prejudice” will take place at 7:30 p.m. on March 21-23 and 2:30 p.m. on March 24 in College Hall’s Ramseyer Auditorium. Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for senior citizens, Bluffton University faculty and staff, and non-Bluffton University students. Bluffton University students may reserve their tickets for free. Purchase tickets at 

Arts at Bluffton events are made possible due to generous support from donors including David Bertsche ’57, James ’83 and Rhonda (Louis ’84) Fox, Lowell ’62 and Martha (Badertscher ’62) Hostetler and the Krehbiel-Raid-Pankratz Endowment.