MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY
By Lauren Gunderson & Margot Melcon
Tampa Bay Area Premiere
Directed by Stephanie Gularte
LOVE. OUT LOUD. This Christmas, cozy up with your favorite Pride and Prejudice characters at Pemberley. Told with a sweet and sassy modern wit and romantic, period style, this comedic sequel takes us to 1815 England in the grand estate of newlyweds, Mr. and Mrs. Darcy. Bookish middle daughter Mary Bennet meets a curious visitor who proves himself an intellectual match, kindred spirit and possibly more. For the first time, Mary must stand tall and become the heroine of her own story. Inspired by one of the most beloved literary romances of all time, MISS BENNET will enchant Jane Austen fans and new-comers alike.
“…a perfectly constructed love story…fizzy comedy, sweet spirit…destined to populate future holiday seasons…”
– San Francisco Chronicle
Age Recommendation: 10+
BROOKE TYLER BENSON (Elizabeth Darcy) is so excited to be making her American Stage debut! She is a North Carolina native but has always been a Florida local at heart. She graduated with her BFA in Acting from East Carolina University’s Honors College and then moved to Sarasota to join Florida Studio Theatre’s Acting Apprentice Company. She has resided in Florida ever since. Her recent regional credits include INCOGNITO (Urbanite Theatre); THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, CONSTELLATIONS (U/S), DECK THE HALLS (Florida Studio Theatre); and new play development readings, which include THE WHOLE SHEBANG by Jason Odell Williams, THE COTTAGE by Sandy Rustin (FST New Play Festival) and MODERN WORKS FESTIVAL (Urbanite Theatre). www.Btylerbenson.com
LUCAS CALZADA* (Charles Bingley) is bouncing with delight to make his American Stage debut— and with such a dazzling, charming script no less! A graduate of the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, local audiences may recognize him from his work in the Asolo Repertory Theatre productions of HAMLET: PRINCE OF CUBA, YENTL, and ONCE IN A LIFETIME, as well as the Conservatory shows TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA, LADY FROM THE SEA, and TARTUFFE. Lucas currently resides in sunny Los Angeles where, aside from acting, he cuts his teeth in the comedy and writing world as a member of the sketch comedy teams “MP’s Big Queer Nightmare” and “onewordnocaps,” having performed at The Ruby, Acme Comedy Theatre, and Upright Citizens Brigade. He also directs, teaches, and creates his own content, but this bio is running long, so…Love to Jack and Maurie! For more check out www.lucascalzada.com and follow on Instagram @LucasCalzada1.
KATIE CUNNINGHAM* (Anne de Bourgh) just returned from her debut season in the acting company at Utah Shakespeare Festival, where she played Emilia in OTHELLO and Isabelle/Sabine in THE LIAR. Earlier this year, she returned as Artist-in-Residence to Clarence Brown Theatre, where she appears regularly in the acting company and has taught acting at the University of Tennessee. Other Florida: Asolo Rep [OUR BETTERS (Pearl), BOTH YOUR HOUSES (Marjorie), GOD OF CARNAGE (Annette), ONCE IN A LIFETIME (Florabel Leigh), HAMLET DE CUBA (Player Queen), HAMLET REDUX (Hamlet)]; Urbanite Theatre (LUNGS); Palm Beach Dramaworks (THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA); Dog Days Theatre (DOUBLE INDEMNITY). Katie has performed at a host of regional theaters across the country and in NYC with TACT/The Actors’ Company Theatre; NY Fringe; and more. Teaching: McCarter Theatre Center; University of Tennessee; FSU/Manatee School for the Arts. Training: B.A., UNC Chapel Hill; M.F.A. Acting, FSU/Asolo Conservatory. Proud union member (AEA & SAG-AFTRA). AHFOL to Patrick. www.katiecunningham.com
BRITT MICHAEL GORDON* (Mr. Darcy) is grateful to be returning to American Stage, where he previously appeared in GOOD PEOPLE and THE PITMEN PAINTERS. Other regional credits include ASSASSINS and PETER AND THE STARCATCHER (freeFall Theatre); TRIBES, THE UNEXPECTED GUEST, THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO, and CABARET (Florida Repertory Theatre); ARCADIA (Palm Beach Dramaworks); and BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE (Broward Stage Door). Britt is the recipient of a Silver Palm Award and Theatre Tampa Bay Award. He received a BFA in Acting from Florida State University. www.brittmichaelgordon.com
JENNY LESTER* (Mary Bennet) is an LA born and raised actor, director, and writer. She is thrilled to be back at American Stage after terrorizing Tampa Bay this summer as Daphna in Bad Jews (Best of the Bay & Theatre Tampa Bay Award Winner). LA/NY credits include Writers’ Assistant to Steven Sater (Broadway’s Spring Awakening), readings of HESTER STREET and THE MAGIKER (with Bryan Cranston) and Assistant Stage Manager for PYGMALION (Bedlam). A BFA Musical Theatre graduate from Point Park University, her favorite PPU credits include The Widow Quin in THE PLAYBOY OF THE WESTERN WORLD, Emma in ALL NEW PEOPLE, and creating the role of Emilia in the first English translation of the German play, HAPPY. Regional: Tzeitel in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (Priscilla Beach Theater). Next up: Producing and starring in “What She Said”, with her company, Shallow Graves. More at www.jennyluisalester.com & www.shallow-graves.com. SAG-AFTRA/AEA.
SADIE LOCKHART (Jane Bingley) is thrilled to be back at American Stage. Her regional credits include HAIRSPRAY; IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (American Stage); WINNIE THE POOH; RIKKI TIKKI; GEORGE’S MARVELOUS MEDICINE (American Stage School Tour); THE LITTLE MERMAID (Missoula Children’s Theatre National Tour); JULIUS CAESAR (St.Pete Shakespeare); TAMING OF THE SHREW; HENRY IV PART 1 (Baltimore Shakespeare Factory). Sadie is a founding member of THE OVEN, a theater company for social change in Baltimore, MD. She is a teaching artist for American Stage and internationally. Her training includes American Stage Emerging Arts Leader Fellow (2018-2019); American Stage Acting and Production Apprentice (2016-2017); Towson University Acting BFA. She is grateful for the endless support and love from her family, friends and her boyfriend. Many thanks to Stephanie, and the entire American Stage team for this opportunity!
COURTNEY ANNE MCLAREN (Lydia Wickham), an alumna of American Stage’s Apprentice Program, is thrilled to be returning to the mainstage. Courtney was seen previously in THE PRODUCERS and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, as well as in American Stage’s educational touring productions of WINNIE THE POOH and RIKKI TIKKI TAVI. She holds a BA from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) with concentrations in theater, music, and arts management. At MCLA, favorite roles included Sally Bowles in CABARET, Wendla in SPRING AWAKENING, and Harper in ANGELS IN AMERICA (PART 1). She has performed and trained with Williamstown Theatre Festival, Berkshire Theatre Group and Commonwealth Shakespeare. Courtney sends her thanks to family and friends for their love and support. www.courtneyannemclaren.com
JOSH ODSESS-RUBIN* (Arthur De Bourgh) is delighted to be making his American Stage debut! Josh is an LA-based actor whose regional credits include Edward in SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (South Coast Repertory); Captain Spaulding in ANIMAL CRACKERS, Liam in BAD JEWS, Gabriel in WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING (Cygnet Theatre); Rosalind in AS YOU LIKE IT (Shakespeare Orange County); Asher in MY NAME IS ASHER LEV (Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati); RED HERRING (Portland Stage); THE COMEDY OF ERRORS (Lake Tahoe Shakespeare); THE IMAGINARY INVALID (A Noise Within); RICHARD II (Yale Repertory Theatre), multiple seasons with New Swan Shakespeare and the Winnipesaukee Playhouse, and A CHRISTMAS CAROL at both Sierra Repertory Theatre and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. NYC Theatre: Ars Nova, FringeNYC, HERE Arts Center, Culture Project, Dixon Place. Film/TV: “The Descendant,” “Girl From a Box,” Netflix, Science Channel, Discovery ID, Lifetime, national & international commercials. BA: Yale. MFA: UC Irvine. www.joshorubin.com
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association | #Member of the United Scenic Artists union
Spotlight Series: PROLOGUE
Arrive early and enjoy our interactive prologue series. The discussion will explore fascinating details about the play and the artists prior to select performances.
Free for ticket holders to the performance.
Spotlight Series: BEHIND-THE-SCENES*
November 18, 2018 | Book Now
The perfect primer! Take a peek behind the curtain before each production opening with this informative and entertaining presentation about the play, the playwright, and the American Stage artists who bring it all to life. Professor Emerita Dedee Aleccia will provide relevant details about the history and central themes of the play, while members of the artistic team will give an insider’s perspective on their process.
Featuring Stephanie Gularte (Director; Producing Artistic Director), Steve Mitchell (Set Designer) and Trish Kelly (Costume Designer)
Pricing: $10 for General Public.
Free for American Stage Subscribers and Act 1 Club Members
Spotlight Series: CHATBACK
Thursday December 6, Sundays December 9 & 16
Stick around immediately following select performances to talk with the cast and other audience members while the experience of the play is fresh! Ask questions about the play, the characters, and the process, plus respond to the story and ideas aroused by the production. Free for ticket holders to the performance.
Free for ticket holders to the performance.