Anna Roman, who plays Lizzy Bennet in the Kate Hamill adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is excited to be revisiting the character after first playing her in a different adaptation in high school.
“She’s a character who is a little unlike her sisters, who abides by the rules and plays the game, and she tries to laugh so she doesn’t cry,” Roman said. “… She’s unlike a lot of her sisters in that she doesn’t want to get involved in marriage, she doesn’t want to give up any part of herself. She’s kind of ahead of her time in a way.”
Pride and Prejudice continues this week with performances at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. today in Bratton Theater.
Roman, a 2023 CTC Conservatory Actor, is pursuing her Master of Fine Arts in acting at Yale University’s David Geffen School of Drama.
Since Roman initially played Bennet in her high school production, she feels that she has matured, and as Roman has grown, she feels Bennet has, too, in a way.
“It was a beautiful thing to be able to revisit again and have fresh eyes on it with a new perspective,” she said. “As I’ve aged, I think Lizzy has, too.”
Roman said she believes that the adaptation Hamill has written, directed at Chautauqua by CTC Producing Artistic Director Jade King Carroll, is more focused on different forms of love in our lives than most other adaptations. The play explores an array of relationships — including familial, platonic and romantic bonds.
Roman cites Chautauqua as a space that she recognized would both evolve and supplement the acting training she is receiving at Yale. She specifically referenced living in a shared house with fellow conservatory members, and the collaboration and bonding that has emerged from the living situation.
The rehearsal process for Pride and Prejudice was short and intense. Cast and crew were in rehearsal for multiple hours per day workshopping and exploring the plot and how different characters interacted.
Through this experimentation and freedom to play, Roman said the cast and crew of Pride and Prejudice helped her to unpack who Bennet is and how she might interact with other characters through their collaboration.
“The No. 1 thing, though, is you can only do so much work on your own before you get into a space, but the people here – my castmates and company members – they have really helped me develop the character because we’re all creating a story with one another, so it would be nothing without them,” she said.
Roman said she feels that Hamill’s adaptation brings a more accessible plot to audience members.
“This adaptation makes everything for everyone,” she said. “That’s a really beautiful thing to bring us all together.”
Roman said she hopes the audience will experience the range of emotions that the play brings to the table, and that they will enjoy the fun, playful nature of the production.
“It’s very fun; it’s very fast,” Roman said. “Blink and you’ll miss it.”