FHSU Spring Play brings modern feel to old classic



This year, the FHSU Spring Play “Pride and Prejudice,” takes on a contemporary feel – adding a modern vibe to an old classic.

Show dates are March 4-7 at 7:30 p.m. and March 8 at 2:30 p.m. in the Felten-Start Theatre in Malloy Hall. Tickets can be purchased for $10 for FHSU students and $15 for the general public.

“This show takes a story that we’ve all come across in our lives and flips it on its ear,” said Ciara Calhoon, a cast member in the FHSU production of “Pride and Prejudice.”

Calhoon plays the part of Lizzy, a headstrong girl that fights for what she wants.

“What I love about her is that she’s so against being in love,” Calhoon said. “She wants so badly to be this mature woman, but we forget that she’s just a teenager.”

The character’s best moment, according to Calhoon, is during the first act when she walks three miles in the rain to retrieve her sister in spite of her parents.

“This part shows my favorite side of her,” she said. “Which is her unfailing determination and her incredible stubbornness.”

Director Tomme Williams said the contemporary adaptation of the show required a “thinking out of the box” directing style.

“It is a very well written, modern adaptation that is perfect for our students,” Williams said.

Because of the large cast, Williams was able to have more students participate in the show.

“Working with our students is always the most rewarding part of these productions,” she said.

Jenna Confer, who plays the part of Jane, said her character is an idealistic sweetheart who always tries to do the right thing for her sisters.

“Janes’s biggest and hardest moment is when she realizes the love of her life has left and won’t return,” Confer said. “Yet she manages to keep her composure and continues to watch out for her family.”

Confer said the most challenging part of being involved with the show was staying on top of her lines.

“Being a part of any production requires major commitment,” she said. “This is the first play I’ve been a part of at Fort Hays and my biggest fear was not being able to memorize all of the lines.”

Cast members have been attending rehearsals since Jan. 27, allotting five days a week for practice on stage. Some performers, like Calhoon, also dedicated time to practice outside of the scheduled rehearsals.

“I couldn’t count how many times I’ve seen a castmate and just started reciting lines to them,” Calhoon said. “My methods to memorizing my lines aren’t exactly organized or methodical. I just sort of become the character. After all of these rehearsals, my brain just knows what to say in the heat of the moment.”

Because of the dedication the cast has put into the production, Confer said she believes seeing the show is completely worth it.

“It’s simply a blast,” she said. “We are so excited to showcase the talented students who have been involved with this production.”

Calhoon and Confer agree that the contemporary adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” will keep the audience laughing with its modern antics.

“We incorporated modern music and modern set design to make it a completely new experience,” Calhoon said. “It’s full of shenanigans, heartbreak, romance, and laughs. I’m sure everyone will find something to enjoy about this show.”

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