BYU Theatre Presents a Proper “Pride and Prejudice” for the Modern Audience

Enjoy an evening of comic misunderstandings, classic characters and true love

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen fans in possession of all “Pride and Prejudice” films must be in want of a stage play—and actors in BYU’s theatre program are ready to deliver. On March 11, the original enemies-to-lovers tale will come to life on the Pardoe Theatre stage, complete with the headstrong Lizzy Bennet, the dashing but prideful Mr. Darcy and the entire Bennet family and friends.

Langi Tuifua as Mr. Darcy, Freja Jorgensen as Lizzy Bennet, Brendon French as Mr. Collins. Photo by Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo.

This adaptation of Austen’s most popular novel arrives at the BYU stage in company with Regency dress, choreography and comedy for the contemporary audience member.

“My vision in directing the piece was to keep the essence of the period, but to make it even more relatable to our audience through comedy, choreography and characterization,” said director Stephanie Breinholt. “I think even the most reluctant Austen-goer will find something to smile about in the show.”

Freja Jorgensen, who plays Lizzy Bennet, said that this version of the well-known story brings in some more empathetic characterization to the famous roles. “We’ve tried very hard to keep any person from being a caricature, and to bring some element of empathy into their story,” she said. “Every character has a journey they make.”

Freja Jorgensen as Lizzy Bennet, Langi Tuifua as Mr. Darcy. Photo by Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo.

Jorgensen continued, “This not only makes it a story that audiences will be able to enjoy in new ways, but also one that urges us to look outside ourselves to notice the journeys people are making around us in real life.”

Playing the Mr. Darcy to Jorgensen’s Lizzy is Langi Tuifua, who mentioned that while the role presents its challenges, he has enjoyed the challenge of portraying such an introverted character onstage. “I’ve never played a character as introverted as [Darcy] before,” said Tuifua, “so it’s been very fun to challenge myself in that way.”

In addition to all the Regencey-era adornments, the play also boasts original live music composed by commercial music student Joseph Phillips.

Phillips said he drew inspiration from the musical scores of shows such as “Downton Abbey” and mentioned that tunes from familiar songs such as “Cotton-Eyed Joe” will make an appearance in some of the dancing scenes. The orchestra that takes on this feat is made up of only a few members playing the guitar, piano, violin, flute and cello. The young composer said he hopes that the score he’s created for the play inspires both the audience and the actors.

Freja Jorgensen as Lizzy Bennet, Langi Tuifua as Mr. Darcy. Photo by Jaren Wilkey, BYU Photo.

“I love to inspire people through music,” he said. “Whether it’s inspiring the actors in the scene to feel the drama and the seriousness of a moment, or it’s influencing the audience members to laugh because it’s this funny song, . . . what I’m trying to do is help enhance the feeling of the play and the reality of the play.”

Both Jorgensen and Tuifua said that they hope audiences come away with a new perspective on love and character.

“I hope they come away with a new perspective on romance and perfection, and the idea that reality will usually not turn out as we expect,” said Jorgensen. “There is the idea presented throughout the show that perfection is not achievable or desirable as something that will bring happiness; in the place and time we live, I find this to be an incredibly timely message.”

Tuifua added that he hopes audiences are able to find ways that they can be more forgiving towards one another. “Hopefully, they learn to forgive people who have been prideful in the past,” he said.

For an evening of wit, romance and marital bliss, “Pride and Prejudice” is a play you won’t want to miss!

For tickets to the event, visit arts.byu.edu.


Pride and Prejudice

Pardoe Theatre

March 11–12, 15–19, 22–26, 29–31 and April 1 at 7:30 p.m.

March 12, 19, 26 at 2:00 p.m.

ASL interpreted March 24

Post-show discussions March 17 & 24

BYU recommends all patrons to wear a mask while indoors at campus performance venues, regardless of vaccination status.For details about the updated COVID-19 policy, visit coronavirus.byu.edu.