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Plans for Pride & Prejudice

Classic play Pride and Prejudice is in the works at the Belleville Theatre Guild, with casting complete and rehearsals underway.

The show is being directed by Lise Lindenburg, who had no time for an interview, but producer Heather Muir came forward to talk about their plans.

Muir said Lindenburg picked out Pride and Prejudice because, “She really really liked the book and she liked the play. And she liked this particular version of the play."

Muir is also a big fan of Pride and Prejudice, she said.

"It’s been a favourite story of mine for a long time. I think I watched the version with Colin Firth at least 25 times."

When it came to auditions, over 40 people showed up for the 18 roles, which led to callbacks.

Maija Thompson, 20, was one who stuck around. She's been performing at the guild since she was 12 years old.

“I had a doubt that I was going to get in. It’s just always an underlying doubt that you’re going to get a role. And I really wasn’t sure whether I was going to get Jane or Elizabeth," Thompson said.

She said she received a phone call 30 minutes after getting home from callbacks to learn she was cast as lead character Elizabeth Bennett.

Thompson said she is also a fan of Pride and Prejudice, favouring the Keira Knightley version.

"It's really quite enjoyable. It's very romantic. It makes you cry – I cry easily though," she said.

Thompson's love interest in the show will be Michael Code, playing Mr. Darcy, who she went to elementary school with. And there will be kissing involved.

“I’ve done a lot of stage kissing at this point. So the first one is always going to be awkward and weird, but then after awhile you just get so into the scene," Thompson said.

Thompson said she loves the challenge of acting and takes it quite seriously.

“It’s just something about getting into the mindset of a character. Especially someone like Elizabeth Bennett who is very witty. And it’s just fun to try and to figure out what she’s thinking and how to play the part," Thompson said.

On the production side of things, Muir said Lindenburg has extensive plans.

“The (show) we’re doing is quite different. It’s very theatrical and it doesn’t have a big box set. It’s a more minimalist set, but the people are all in wonderful costumes and the furniture gets moved on and off. And it’s really interesting because when they’re talking about a character that’s not on stage at the time, there will be lighting that will light them up. And they will be standing up on a stairway behind the set, and their face will show through a window," Muir said.

The set will look like blue and white framework of a regency home in the style of an architectural sketch.

Overall, Muir said they are expecting success.

"It will be a very well-organized, well publicized, beautiful production… we’re anticipating some very good crowds."

Thompson encourages people to come out and see the show, which starts on March 30 and runs until April 15 at the Pinnacle Playhouse.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun. You’re going to find someone to relate to. And it’s a classic story," Thompson said.

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