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Aquila Theatre performs ‘Sense & Sensibility’

February 22, 2018

 

HANNAH JONES
Staff Reporter | hej006@latech.edu

 

A story involving love triangles and hilarious irony galore, “Sense and Sensibility” swept the stage of Howard Auditorium Feb. 19 with Aquila Theatre’s masterful performance of the play based on Jane Austen’s novel of the same title.

 

Aquila Theatre, a theatre company based in New York and touring nationally, brought to life this classic tale of the balance between reason and romance, sense and sensibility.

 

The performance used the placement of the minimal set pieces along with illustrious backdrops to portray the multiple settings of the play.

 

The multiple characters were played by a cast of only eight actors, with all but the two actresses portraying the two eldest Dashwood sisters acting as two or more personas.

 

Of course, the use of male actors in the role of females is not a new concept to the theatre and it is this ability in the exaggerated nature in the men’s portrayals of females to capture the irony of the characters. One audience member, Stormi Verret, expressed her initial apprehension in this tactic of the theatre that quickly turned into enjoyment.

 

“At first I was kind of unsure about the male actors portraying females, especially for Margaret,” Verret, an English and Spanish double major, said. “But I think it added a fun, along the lines of slapstick, humor because it lightened the mood from the formal beginning and made the audience a bit more engaged. They made it more fun and energetic.”

 

Aquila Theatre was certainly not lacking in creativity and acting finesse. Paul Crook, the co-director of the Louisiana Tech Concert Association, said he enjoys every Aquila performance he has attended.

 

“Aquila is one of the foremost, if not the foremost, touring companies that presents classical theatre in the United States, touring nationally every year,” Crook said. “The thing about Aquila’s work — and it’s what has always impressed me — is their consistency in actors. They are really wonderful both vocally and physically. They’re very complete actors in what they do. Their command of the language is fantastic, which is really important with Jane Austen.”

 

The performance of Austen’s literature provoked laughter and elicited gasps from the audience with the emphasis on wit and the tragic love triangles between the characters.

 

“I think one the most important things about Jane Austen’s works is the wittiness of it and how sharp some of the things land,” Verret said. “They did a really good job of delivering that to the audience. If that had been lacking I would have been very disappointed, but I think they kept that very well. They even added a little of that stage magic that made it really fun for the audience — I mean, you could hear everybody laughing.”

 

Verret said Sense and Sensibility was truly a show worth viewing.

 

“It was fabulous,” Verret said. “Anyone who didn’t get to see it really missed out.”

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