Bob Jones University students will be performing Jane Austen’s classic, Sense and Sensibility, adding a variety of theatrical literature to the University’s Shakespeare trend.
“It is a great story about the bond of sisters and friendship,” director Anne Nolan said. “They learn about their strengths and they learn from each other as well.”
The play will be presented in Rodeheaver Auditorium both tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m. Nolan hopes students will include the performance as part of their Valentine’s Day celebration.
Nolan has been teaching at the University for 25 years. She has taught private lessons, Voice and Articulation, and even helped coordinate Oral Communication for the Professions in its early stages. She also directed last semester’s production of It’s a Wonderful Life and was the assistant director for Pride and Prejudice years ago. Nolan is excited for the opportunity to return to Austen’s literature with this semester’s performance of Sense and Sensibility. She said she has thoroughly enjoyed the theatrical process. But this was not always the case.
“In high school, theater was always something I loved but was terrified of,” she said. “I always offered to be stage manager or direct choirs, but I hated the stage.”
Nolan didn’t realize her love of public speaking and theater until her college years. Now, she shares her passion of theater with students. “I love the them! I would do anything for them,” she said.
The set for Sense and Sensibility has required careful thinking and creativity.
“This is not your typical play in that there is a huge, elaborate set,” Nolan said. “It’s not like we have a lot of different scenes. It’s very fluid, very fast-paced. We have very few set pieces, and they are intended to symbolize.”
Jason Waggoner, the set designer, created a doorframe that represents every single location.
“It’s a very versatile set, Nolan said. “Small, but versatile. You need that in order to be seamlessly flowing in between scenes.”
Students have been working at the production since before Thanksgiving break. “I wanted them off-book early on. For the very first rehearsal, they all had their lines memorized,” Nolan said. Although the performance is the ultimate goal of the production, Nolan said she is all about the process. “I enjoy the getting there. I love exploring.”
Students are encouraged to make the play part of their Valentine’s Day activities, especially since the $7 ticket price is so affordable. Nolan is excited about the opportunity to introduce the familiar, beloved classic to the Bob Jones University theatrical collection.