Pride and Prejudice

Shahd Joari, staff writer

Earlier this month, the drama department performed Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” The play is based off the famous novel which was published in 1813 and sold over 20 million copies worldwide, according to the website Independent. The novel has been the subject of various adaptations, including director Joe Wright’s film rendition. The story is based in the early 1800s and is about the Bennet family. Mr. Bennet has three daughters, each with differing personalities, and a bossy wife. The plot revolves around the sisters’ quest to find husbands before they become too old for marriage. The story is furthered by a rich gentleman, Mr. Darcy, who has taken up temporary residence in a nearby estate. The sisters soon find love in unexpected places, and the story covers the ordeals of happiness, scandal and social expectations faced by English women during this time period.

“It can be summarized as ‘[Keeping up with the] Kardashians’ in the 1810s,” junior Annabelle Kirkendall, who was a part of the design team, said.

The show was double cast, and one cast will be Chantilly’s entry for the Cappie awards, a highly esteemed awards program for D.C. area high school drama departments.

“The Cappies is our version of the Tonys or the Oscars,“ senior Isaac Thornton, who played Colonel Fitzwilliam, said. “We have judges come in from other schools and judge what really stuck out.”

The drama department hopes to be nominated for Cappies award this year. The production team and cast put a significant amount of time and effort into constructing the play, which started in early September. Initially, rehearsals took approximately two to three hours. However, as the play approached the premiere date, six to seven hours of rehearsals was required. The rehearsals consisted of the performers elevating their acting to portray the characters.

“It is hard for me sometimes to capture the character,” senior Zaid Al Nouman, who played Mr. Bennet, said. “I have to make sure to balance not being too frustrated, and I can’t show too much emotion.”

Another time-consuming aspect was set production and the building team, who constructed the set starting with only pieces of wood. The students shaped, designed and painted the entire production themselves. At one point, they taped and painted the entire stage to look like hardwood floors. Other technical theatre students operated the lights and sound to help enhance and deliver the story effectively to the audience.  

“Everyone has their job, and as long as they complete it, everything goes well,” senior Quinn Dunham, who was a part of the building team, said. “It’s like gears in a clock, and as long as everyone works, it works.”

Behind the scenes, the costuming team took fabrics and produced the clothing by sewing, cutting and assembling an assortment of fabrics into complete costumes. The hair and makeup team, led by senior Carolan Corcoran, took different wigs and styled them into hair that resembled the styles of the 1810s. For the makeup, the team created simplistic looks that still fit the theme of the characters.

“It’s very busy, but we work in a smaller group and we’re structured, so we get a lot done,” sophomore Piper Reed, who worked on the design team, said. “I think it’s all worth it for the actual show, and it’s a lot of fun to see everything you’ve done.”

After working on the play for over two months and putting in countless hours of preparation,

the drama department was pleased with the audience’s positive reaction to the play.

“[‘Pride and Prejudice’ was] absolutely wonderful. Each setting changed with new background and props,” senior Grisma Pathak, who attended the Friday night performance, said. “All the actors and actresses portrayed [the characters] really well. They made the book come to life in a great way.”


Left sophomore Alex Yee, right senior Aris Stovall
On the right sophomore Maggie Corcoran fixes senior Aris Stovall’s hair