In 2015, Jane Austen‘s novel Emma will be 200 years old. But the concerns and observations of the famous English writer have relevance for today and have earned her a devoted following in this technologically savvy and jaded world, quite a different place from the country estates of Georgian-Regency Britain where her novels are set.
Emma, whom Gwyneth Paltrow portrayed in the 1996 movie version, is a wealthy, intelligent, high spirited and meddling young woman of 20 who delights in matchmaking. Through the twists and turns of a complex plot, she eventually comes to realize that one of the matches she has been trying to make is counter to her own heart when it comes to her moral mentor, Mr. Knightley …”one of the few people who could see faults in Emma Woodhouse, and the only one who ever told her of them.”
Bringing this coming of age tale to the state is Lantern Theater Company, which has presented classics and originals over the past 18 years. Their audience engagement series accompanies each production with discussions with artists and scholars. This Friday the director of Lantern’s Emma, Kathryn MacMillen, will hold a Q&A with the audience.
Emma, starring opens in previews today and runs through October 27th. Next month there is a related Jane Austen Festival related to the production called Regency and Revelry, featuring among many other activities a Regency dance lesson and readings/signings with noted Austen scholars.
For ticket information for Emma and the upcoming Lantern season click here.