Pride and Prejudice Ball, 2003
This year, we decided to try something new for the Spring Ball, so we put together scenes from Pride and Prejudice, learned Regency dances, and served tea and scones. In the following comments, please bear with the Jane Austen references. :)
The last rehearsal the day of the Ball
The students worked very hard to learn their parts, and their hard work paid off during the performance.
Meet the Characters
The whole cast, assembled together
Most of the girls made their own dresses. The use of imagination and creativity were evident in the great abundance of lace ("No lace, Mrs. Bennet!"), ribbons, and flowers. *
Mrs. Bobbie Helland, costumier extraordinaire and invaluable assistant director, created incredible coats for the officers using a historical pattern and embellishments from Navy uniforms she found at thrift shops. We think a man looks nothing without Regimentals...
The Bennet Family
Kitty and Lydia with (giggle) the Officers!
Guests begin to arrive...
*ere not to be outdone by the actors, and came in high Regency style. Looking on (a bit more modern :)) *
A fine-looking assembly of Astlefords
Miss Mary Bennet at the pianoforte
"Shall we have a dance?"
Guests and actors were brave enough to step out and dance several Regency classics such as: Shrewsbury Lasses, The Barley Mow, The Corporation and Mr. Beveridge's Maggot (the lovely dance that Elizabeth and Darcy dance and talk during in the A & E version of P & P). (Yes, we know the title of the last dance sounds rather ridiculous. It means, "Mr. Beveridge's Flight of Fancy". Doesn't that sound a bit nicer?)
"Mary, the Barley Mow!"
Mr. Hurst *looks quite bored as he presses on through a "tedious waste of an evening." We think it must have been quite a challenge for Jensen, who is very sociable and most affable, to appear bored for four hours.
Mrs. Bennet (Mrs. H.) is thrilled when Mr. Bingley (*) shows an interest in Jane (Amanda Helland). Jane must make what she can of it. Charlotte Lucas (*, Jane, and Mary (C*) converse.
At Netherfield, Mr. Bingley's home
Miss Caroline Bingley (A* and Mrs. Hurst (*) exchange derogatory comments about Miss Elizabeth Bennet's scandalous walk to Netherfield to inquire after Jane, who has taken ill during a visit. "Her petticoat!" "Three inches deep in mud!"
Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley refuse to chime in and comment that her "fine eyes" were "brightened by the exercise" and that this walk shows "an affection for her sister which is most pleasing."
Lo and behold, Miss Bennet herself appears, giving an opportunity for Miss Bingley to ask her to "take a turn about the room" with her.
Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy. Kitty and Lydia flirting with the officers. ("all the officers!")
Mr. Wickham tells Elizabeth his sad tale of losing the living that was promised to him by old Mr. Darcy. Who could believe that a young man so affable and charming could be (gasp!) lying??!
Mary keeps the music going, along with the Elhardt and Hinrichs musicians.
The Netherfield Ball
The proper way to ask a young lady to dance...
as illustrated by the most proper Mr. Collins (D*), the gallant Officer Denny (C*), and of course, Mr. Darcy (*.
You're never too young to be a Pride and Prejudice fan!
Jane encourages Lizzie to think the best of Miss Bingley and her unkind comments.
Mary Bennet's Rendition of "Afton Water"
We wish you could have heard this performance-- Chelsea showed no fear of properly imitating Mary's singing ability (or lack thereof). Fortunately for Chelsea, we all know that she sings with great accomplishment.
Mrs. Bennet (Mrs. H.) is greatly impressed with her daughter's abilities, but Mr. Bennet (Mr. H.) interrupts the performance on behalf of Jane and Lizzie, who are (properly) mortified.
Mrs. Hurst rushes to the pianoforte to save the day.
Mr. Collins' Proposal
Mrs. Bennet tells Kitty to come upstairs with her so that Mr. Collins can speak to Lizzie.
Shockingly, Elizabeth does not think that Mr. Collins is the "companion of her future life." Mr. Collins takes awhile to understand that the rejection has not been expressed in order to increase his love by suspense, as is the fashion of elegant young ladies.
Mrs. Bennet tells Mr. Bennet that he must force Lizzie to marry Mr. Collins. However, Mr. Bennet tells Lizzie that she will forever be stranger to one of her parents, for "your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins and I will never see you again if you do." "Ohhhh, Mr. Bennet!!!"
Mr. Darcy's First Proposal
Miss Elizabeth (R*reveals her scorn for Mr. Darcy (* and his terrible pride.
Lady Catherine, of course, disapproves of the entire evening.
Lady Catherine (* expresses her extreme disapproval of a match between Elizabeth and Darcy.
Mr. Darcy's Second Proposal
Mr. Darcy has learned to moderate his pride and Miss Elizabeth has learned that prejudging others is misleading. They decide that a marriage between them would be a good thing, after all.
Mr. Bingley and the future Mrs. Bingley
Lady Catherine condescends to speak to an officer.
Mr. and Mrs. Bennet express delight in the marriage of three daughters. Mr. Bennet, however, had something up his sleeve, or should we say, under his hat. He revealed a sleeping kitten in his hat to end the play.
Shall we have some more dances?
Val Near stepped in at the last minute to be Mrs. Bennet's sister, Aunt Phillips.
*"Hill" minded the tea and dessert table all evening.
Thank you all, for your attendance and enjoyment. We hope to have this pleasure often repeated, especially when a certain... desirable event takes place. (i.e. next year's Regency ball!)