April 21, 2016

More than 200 years after it was first published, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice continues to permeate pop culture. From film adaptions and web series to comic strips and zombie-ridden spin-offs, this classic story is embraced by a new generation of readers. Catholic University's Department of Drama has chosen to produce a fast-paced, bright adaption that puts a pop-art inspired spin on the play. Along with the production, the drama department and the Alumni Association will host Austenmania, a panel discussion that will explore the enduring popularity of Austen's romantic story of morality and social class. Featuring faculty from the drama, English, and media studies departments, the discussion on Saturday, April 23, will provide a deeper understanding of the novel's literary and cinematographic history.

"The type of art that we chose was based off of the [novel's] themes and how they tie together. A lot of the themes of pop art are related to Pride and Prejudice," said Magdelana Schultzer, senior drama major and the play's set designer. "The biggest is unrequited love and romance. Pop art is very bold and even though the novel itself isn't really bold, the choices the characters are making are."Eleanor Holdridge, producer and head of the M.F.A. directing program, says she hopes that the in-depth discussion of the text will provide the audience with a fuller understanding of the book, the play, and the unique approach to the production.

"Director Joseph Ritsch's take on the production of this play is quite bold and is developing into a mash-up of the sophistication and comedy-of-manners of Jane Austen and the development of our contemporary aesthetic," said Holdridge.

The discussion will take place in the Hartke Theatre upper lobby at 6 p.m. followed by a 7:30 p.m. performance of Pride and Prejudice in the theatre. Other performances of Pride and Prejudice will take place April 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and April 23 and 24 at 2 p.m.

To register for the reception and ticket package, visit engage.catholic.edu. For more information or to request disability accommodations, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 202-319-5608 or email cua-alumni@cua.edu.