Theater Q and A: Tracy Shearer ‘Pride and Prejudice’


Courtesy of ARC/Archives

The actors in ARC’s production of “Pride and Prejudice.”

Shelby Young and Shelby Young

A love story about two people who are blinded about their own misjudgments of each other. “Pride and Prejudice” is the next stage production at American River College. Director Tracy Shearer sat down with The Current for a brief talk about the upcoming play.

Current: How is your adaptation different from the ones that have already been created?
Shearer: This adaptation is focused very much on the relationships. It’s not overloaded on detail. I like it because it has all the warmth, joy, and color of Jane Austen’s work.

Q: What does it take to direct a play such as this one?
Shearer: I think it takes a love of both the original text and the play text and I definitely have a love for the original novel. You have to have a lot of respect for the novel. People are going to expect that you love it as much as they do.

Q: Did the actors and actresses have to read “Pride and Prejudice” in order to perform in the play?
Shearer: Yes, they are supposed to. It was their first homework assignment after they got cast.

Q: Are you a fan of Jane Austen?
Shearer: I am now a fan of Jane Austen. I loved her before but had not read everything written by her. I was first exposed to her by the play I saw and was taken by the characters’ story and the beauty of it that I thought one day I want to do it, and this is the year.

Q: The relationships within the story are quite complicated. How do you make it easier for people to understand?
Shearer: It becomes clear very early on what the relationships are. It’s a combination of the arts in particular costume and the actors too; the way the actors connect with another on stage.

Q: How do you put together costumes for the play?
Shearer: Gail Russell talks with the director, to see what the director’s vision is for the show. We talked and decided that it would be set in the regency area. She does hours and hours of research pulling out costumes and books to find out what is appropriate to the era then adapting the dress of the era to what looks good on stage.

Q: Why should people come and see this play?
Shearer: I think it is an unusual opportunity to see this production come to life. It’s a unique adaptation and a beautiful show.

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