Not only were Jane Austen’s adored characters brought to life in Purdue Theatre’s adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice," her very words gripped the audience.

"Pride and Prejudice" is one of the most anticipated shows in Purdue Theatre’s 2013-2014 season. While many students are likely familiar with the story of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, they’ve probably never experienced their story quite like this.

The story is set in early 19th century England and follows the lives of the Bennet family as Mrs. Bennet actively tries to secure suitors for her five daughters.

The production’s set consisted of a raked stage - one that slants upwardly away from the audience - a large and mobile staircase and a chandelier that would be lowered according to what scene was taking place.

Samantha Hoover, a sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts, portrayed Mary Bennet in the production.

“Working on the raked stage was kind of scary at first,” Hoover said. “It was slippery and not stable, but the set crew fixed it. The rake stage is really important because it helps give a kind of urgency to scenes.”

The show’s opening night ran much smoother than the show’s preview night, according to Hoover. Preview night had several lighting malfunctions.

“The actor’s job is always to be prepared for anything,” Hoover said. “So there was no point in worrying about (the mishaps) of preview night.”

Hoover said opening night went really well and that it was largely due to the audience’s warm and welcoming attitude, which added a lot of energy to everyone's performance.

One of the audience members was Brianna Largent, a junior in the College of Liberal Arts.

Largent said she really enjoyed the show and was pleasantly surprised at how nicely the set and costumes aligned with the time period. She also said she was surprised by the narrative aspect of the show as well as the humor that was involved.

“I didn’t expect the narration part at all, but I think it really added to the play,” Largent said. “I also didn’t expect characters to be so hilarious and awkward.”

Another audience member, Francesca McGinnis, a sophomore in the College of Liberal Arts, was also surprised by how many parts of the play made her laugh.

“The interactions between the characters, specifically Kitty and Mary were my favorite,” McGinnis said. “Mary’s line were just inserted in so well and Kitty’s strive for marriage was hilarious.”

McGinnis had been skeptical about how characters narrating parts of the novel in third-person was going to work.

“I was surprised at how well the narrative worked within the play,” McGinnis said.

"Pride and Prejudice" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with Saturday holding an additional performance 2:30 p.m. The production takes place in the Nancy T. Hansen Theatre in Yue-Kong Pao Hall. Tickets can be purchased at any of the three campus box offices.

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