Pride and Prejudice visits Ames

Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy and the whole Bennet family are coming to the Ames High Auditorium on October 31st. They’re not coming for Halloween, but instead for the play adaptation of Jane Austen’s most famous novel, Pride and Prejudice. The talented young actors of Ames High are getting a taste of life, love and family in the 19th century. Written by one of the most esteemed writers in history, Pride and Prejudice is a novel loved and treasured by many. After first being published in 1813, the novel soon became an unbelievable success, making Austen both a respected and celebrated author. The story has been read by millions and is still being read almost two centuries after its first publication. The story’s immense success and praise leads one to wonder what this seemingly immortal story is about. “The plays centers around Elizabeth not liking Darcy and Darcy liking Elizabeth, but he’s kind of shy,” junior Stella Fritzell explained. Fritzell plays Elizabeth Bennet, the lead in the play. Fritzell has been in numerous productions in the past, some of which include High School Musical, Inherit the Wind, and Murder by Indecision. “I’ve been acting since middle school,” Fritzell said. “It’s been really fun, and I just enjoy acting in general.” “It’s a great story,” junior Thomas Eslinger said. “It’s a good romance.” Eslinger, a fellow High School Musical alumnus, plays Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth’s love interest. Eslinger has been in other plays such as The Sound of Music and Peter Pan. Although a stark contrast from playing Troy in High School Musical, Eslinger has enjoyed portraying Mr. Darcy. He said that Mr. Darcy is “pretty cool” and that “he’s the man.” “It’s a lot about first impressions and not making judgments because people can surprise you,” said senior Mary Woeste, who plays Mrs. Bennet. Mary describes her character as a “very boisterous older woman who only cares about getting her daughters married.” This is Mary’s last year acting at Ames High. She has been in many productions such as The Protagonist and The Sound of Music. While this is Mary’s final year at Ames High, this is freshman Jake Wahling’s first. Wahling plays Mr. Gardiner and Sir Lucas. Although this is Wahling’s first play at Ames High, he has been in many plays in the past, including The Hobbit and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. “I really like how everyone in the cast gets along so well,” said Wahling. “The costumes are going to be awesome,” said junior Monica Dreasher, who plays Lady Catherine. Monica is also an acting veteran, having been in several productions, such as Inherit the Wind and Makin’ It. “She [Lady Catherine] has this presence that’s really amazing,” Dreasher said. Also adding to the play is a new director. After last year’s departure of the previous director, English teacher Steven Woolery stepped up to the plate. “Mr. Woolery is really professional,” Dreasher commented. “It’s nice to have someone who knows what they’re doing.” “It’s different than last year, but he’s a good director,” Eslinger said. With an unbelievable storyline, a veteran cast and an experienced director, this year’s fall production will be memorable. When the curtain goes down, the audience will have pride in Ames High’s drama department, but hopefully will not be prejudiced when seeing another play–no pun intended.