Sense and Sensibility (Whipday)

by  Emma Whipday, Brian McMahon

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  5m, 5f

Sisters Marianne (a hopeless romantic) and Elinor (a stoic realist) experience the pitfalls of society, the generosity of new friends, and the passion of unexpected love in this funny and poignant adaptation of Jane Austen's exquisite early work.

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Sense and Sensibility (Whipday)

by  Emma Whipday Brian McMahon

License Estimator

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 5f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Adaptations (Literature), Period
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13)
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

When Mr. Dashwood dies, he leaves behind him a fine estate – but the law dictates that this must go to his eldest son, John, leaving his wife and daughters bereft. The Dashwood women must learn to embrace a new life, for better or for worse. Sisters Marianne (a hopeless romantic) and Elinor (a stoic realist) experience the pitfalls of society, the generosity of new friends, and the passion of unexpected love in this funny and poignant adaptation of Jane Austen’s exquisite early work. Battling vicious gossip, painful secrets, and the well-meaning interference of would-be matchmaker Mrs. Jennings, the Dashwood sisters learn the importance of both sense and sensibility.
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Tours

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 16th Century / Elizabethan
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Sense and Sensibility is set in the 1790s; the action takes place in Sussex, Devonshire, and London.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

5m, 5f
JOHN DASHWOOD - A serious and somewhat conceited man in his early 30s, he likes to think well of himself, and is devoted to his wife, Fanny. Son to Mr Dashwood; half-brother to Elinor and Marianne. 
MR. DASHWOOD - A loving and careful man, now ‘old’ and frail in his 50s. Husband to Mrs Dashwood; father to John Dashwood by his first marriage, and to Elinor and Marianne by his second. 
ELINOR DASHWOOD - Sensible, loving, and conscientious, at 21, Elinor is steadfast in her affections, and commited to doing her duty. Daughter of Mr and Mrs Dashwood, sister to Marianne, and half-sister to John. 
MARIANNE DASHWOOD - Headstrong, affectionate, and impetuous, at 17, Marianne is convinced she knows everything about love, nature, and beauty. Daughter of Mr and Mrs Dashwood, sister to Elinor, and half-sister to John. 
MRS. DASHWOOD - A warm-hearted and optimistic woman. At 40, she can still be as romantic and impetuous as Marianne. Mother to Elinor and Marianne; stepmother to John. 
FANNY DASHWOOD - A narrow and determined woman in her late 20s, cool and elegant in her manner, passionate in her love of her family, and unyielding in her ambition for them. 
EDWARD FERRARS - A diffident, sensitive man in his mid-20s, he is shy in company, but can be warm, affectionate, and even witty, on closer aquaintance. 
SIR JOHN MIDDLETON - A friendly, hospitable man in his late 30s, he is gregarious and generous; he has few interests beyond gathering around him as many lively young people as possible. Mrs Jennings’ son-in-law (his wife is pregnant, and we do not see her). 
MRS. JENNINGS - A warm-hearted, tactless woman in her late 40s, she is widely described as vulgar, but is not ashamed of her humble social background, and is pleased to be rich because it enables her to share her fortune with others. Mother-in-law to Sir John. 
COLONEL BRANDON - A gentleman, aged 35. In Elinor’s words, he is ‘a sensible man, well-bred, well-informed, of gentle address, and possessing an amiable heart’. 
JOHN WILLOUGHBY - A gentleman in his early 20s. Passionate, charming, wilful, affectionate, and selfish. 
LUCY STEELE - In her early 20s, Lucy is, in Mrs Jennings’ words, ‘monstrous pretty’, and she uses this to her advantage. She is conniving and manipulative; she is also impoverished, with only her charms to rely on, and determined to marry well, at any cost. 
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)

Casting Notes

Mr Dashwood can be doubled with Sir John Middleton, and Fanny Dashwood can be doubled with Lucy Steele.

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Authors

Emma Whipday

Emma Whipday is Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at UCL. She is also a Globe Education Lecturer at Shakespeare’s Globe. Emma studied English at Oxford, and has received an MA and PhD in Shakespeare from University College London (UCL). She has taught at UCL; Brasenose College, Oxford; and the Royal Central School of Spee ...

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Brian McMahon

Brian McMahon is a founding member and the Artistic Director of Reverend Productions, a repertory theatre company based in Oxford, England. Brian has performed in London's West End and on tour in the UK and internationally. Recent work has included Reverend's 2016 productions of Jekyll and Hyde and Nerve, a new English ...

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Sense and Sensibility premiered at the American Shakespeare Center in Stauton, VA in September 2017 under the direction of Stephanie Holladay Earl.

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