The Arts

Twin City Stage travels to 18th century for love story

drama-foursome-lawn-1-medSense and Sensibility coming to the Triad

After a holiday of scares and ghouls, Twin City Stage is livening the mood with a classic love story. Anyone who is a fan of the famed Pride and Prejudice, or even just of love or a simpler time, will enjoy the light-hearted Sense and Sensibility, adapted from Jane Austen’s novel.

Following the lives of the Dashwood sisters, both of age to marry, the play is a quick-paced romantic comedy set in late 18th century England. Audiences will fall in love with the levelheaded and practical Elinor, who falls in love with the quiet, bumbling Edward, and romantic Marianne, who is swept off her feet by the dashing and mysterious Willoughby. But the sisters soon turn to sense and sensibility in the face of love and heartache.

“Sense and Sensibility certainly has characters that are similar to those in Pride and Prejudice, but they also have unique characteristics that are all their own,” said Mark Pirolo, director. “Fans of Pride and Prejudice will certainly find much to love about the Dashwood sisters and their journey towards true happiness.

“I’m very attracted to the story. I enjoy the triumph of both Elinor and Colonel Brandon’s love over seeming impossibility and adversity.”

Pairing off for the play are Sarah Jones and Alex Nedvidek as Marianne Dashwood and John Willoughby, and Linda Shillito and Bo Yokely as Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars.

“Everyone has had a lot of time together to become acquainted and comfortable with one another, and those bonds translate well on stage,” said Linda Shillito, who performs as Elinor. “We have had the opportunity to laugh, cry, and find joy with one another almost every evening.”

“I think we have some great chemistry,” added Alex Nedvidek (John Willoughby). “I really think the dynamic between Linda (Elinor), Sarah (Marianne) and myself has developed nicely.”

“Willoughby is a very charismatic character, and there is this great juxtaposition between my relationship with each of the sisters,” he added. “Marianne shares my disposition and wit, and trusts me completely, whereas Elinor is a much more serious character, so she gets a lot of playful antagonizing from the pair of us, which really only accentuates the underlying distrust of Willoughby and that works really well.”

Though the play is based on an earlier novel by Austen, Pride and Prejudice fans will still enjoy some of the same sentiments, like the period romance story and the unlikely pairing of lovers meant to be. In its essence, the play is simply an enjoyable love story. As Pirolo says, “the title says it all.” Elinor relies on her good sense and her stoic acceptance, which she feels she cannot change, while Marianne’s sensibilities lead her to impulsively leap into situations with a romantic and naive vision of the world. In the end, both realize that their paths lie somewhere in between the two extremes.

“I very much enjoy the period aspect of the play,” Shillito said. “As an Austen fan, it has been such fun to feel as though we have been dropped right into her story. As if the accent and clothing were not enough of a draw, Elinor’s poise, strength and caring make her an enviable character to portray.

“I have always been a fan of historical romantic fiction, and Austin’s Pride and Prejudice is no exception. Sense and Sensibility shares many parallels with Austen’s other works, including strong familial bonds, heartbreak and romance.”

Wanna go? Twin City Stage will present Sense and Sensibility next Friday, Nov. 11, through Nov. 20 at the Arts Council Theatre, 610 Coliseum Drive, Winston-Salem. Tickets are $25. For tickets and more information call (336) 725-4001 or visit