Pride and Prejudice leaves the classroom and heads to the stage


Tonight, Sacred Heart Greenwich’s drama department will present the stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Under the guidance of Upper School Drama and English Teacher Miss Michaela Gorman ’05, the student actors will bring the beloved novel to life in the Lennie and John de Csepel Theatre November 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. 

The cast and crew of Pride and Prejudice will present the show this Friday and Saturday. Courtesy of Miss Danielle Gennaro ’05.

The plot of Pride and Prejudice follows the five Bennet daughters: Jane, Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia, and critiques traditional marital relationships in Regency-era England.

The main plot of the play observes the love story between Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, a wealthy gentleman, and the second eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth. Despite their stubborn personalities, introverted natures, and adverse first impressions, the two bond through their mutual appreciation for intellect and loyalty.

There are multiple subplots surrounding that of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth, including the stories of her sisters and friend Charlotte Lucas as they embark on their own journeys through relationships. Each additional marriage highlights a different flaw of the martial traditions within the characters’ society. 

Miss Gorman previously directed five Sacred Heart Upper School theatrical productions, most recently Fiddler on the Roof and Pygmalionand is excited to bring a well-known story to the stage.

“I chose Pride and Prejudice as the fall play partially because it has strong characters for our actors, and partially because it’s such a well-loved story, both within our cast and within our whole Sacred Heart community,” Miss Gorman said. “It’s been such a great opportunity for us to take these characters that everyone knows and have a chance to work on them and bring them to life.”

Andy Bella ’18, Emma Pope ’21, Cara Janney ’19, Erin Quigley ’19, Emma DeMartino ’19, Daisy Steinthal ’19, and Lauren Hay ’19 performing a scene from Pride and Prejudice. Courtesy of Miss Danielle Gennaro ’05.

Junior Emma DeMartino plays the lead role of Elizabeth Bennet. As Emma began immersing herself in the role, she found the part to be challenging.

“Playing Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice is definitely not an easy task. Because the novel is so well known, I have found it challenging to portray such a popular heroine while incorporating my own acting choices,” Emma said. “It took a while to become accustomed to playing such a beloved literary figure.”

In spite of the challenges, Emma has been able to develop a strong relationship with her character through her work in the play and studies at Sacred Heart.

“I look to Elizabeth as an inspiration and a role model,” Emma said. “I have learned the importance of individuality and independence through her unique characteristics.”

Elizabeth’s love interest, Mr. Darcy, is played by junior Isabel Davenport. Both Emma and Isabel read the novel in their sophomore year English Literature course.

I think that having already read Pride and Prejudice has helped me better understand the plot, the themes, and the motivations and actions of the characters. This has definitely made it easier to act in the play,” Isabel said.  

Isabel Davenport ’19 and Emma DeMartino ’19 play Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. Courtesy of Miss Danielle Gennaro ’05.

With judgment as an underlying theme of the play, Isabel comments on how, despite his uptight exterior, Mr. Darcy is a very humane and empathetic individual.

Mr. Darcy is a relatable character because even though he often misjudges situations and makes mistakes, he consistently tries to do what is right for his friends and family,” Isabel said. 

Upper School English Teacher and Director of the Sacred Heart Center for Research, Teaching, and Learning Mrs. Linda Vasu teaches Pride and Prejudice to the sophomores in her class.

“I love teaching the novel [Pride and Prejudice] every year; each year my students make new discoveries, as do I,” Mrs. Vasu said.
Mrs. Vasu expresses her delight that the students are presenting a dramatic version of the novel. She believes the play allows for a greater focus on the characters’ lives and provides a deeper understanding of the plot of the story.

“All talented actors immerse themselves in the world and the worldview of the play in which they are performing.” Mrs. Vasu said, “A dramatic performance allows the actresses and actors to wrestle with the interior lives of the characters — their motives, thoughts, emotions, and conflicts.”