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The Review

The official student newspaper of St. John's School.

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The Review


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Fall play brings “Pride and Prejudice” to Lowe Theater

Charles Tsang
Mrs. Bennet (played by Finnian Owsley) advises her daughters (played by Sasha Mintz and Nadiya Naehr) on matters of marriage.

It was only the first scene, but laughter was already erupting throughout Lowe Theater as the hectic Bennet family’s apathetic, bold, spoiled, ecstatic and neglected natures turned a timeless classic on its head.

Since Aug. 16, students had been putting in hours of work to prepare for the Fall Play, rehearsing parts and building sets piece by piece to transform the stage into a fragment of Jane Austen’s 17th and 18th century England. 

“Don’t expect your grandmother’s ‘Pride and Prejudice,’” Jamie Stires Hardin, Director of the Upper School Theatre Program, said. This rendition by Kate Hamill adapts Austen’s book to the stage and accompanies the original piece with extra dialogue and witty humor. 

“The dynamic of the Bennett family as a whole is just a riot to watch,” Stires Hardin said. “They’re just so funny, and where we’ve taken the world of the play, there’s contemporary twists in terms of how we’re using both music and dance sequences.”

Stires Hardin along with costume designer Teresa Fogler and set designer Thomas Murphy had been planning the Fall Play since early summer and expressed their excitement for the opportunities of female actors within the script.

“It’s very female-forward and it has a real opportunity for the young women in our department to have a variety of roles that are really featured in the play,” Stires Hardin said. “It’s very diverse in terms that there’s some that are comedic, some that are more serious, and the script is able to push the actors into spaces they haven’t been before as performers.”

Performing as Elizabeth Bennet, senior Nadiya Naehr initially did not relate to the confident heroine when reading “Pride and Prejudice” her sophomore year.

“She’s the main character, the one who’s got the power to tell her own story,” Naehr said. 

As Naehr experimented with her character two years later, she felt a better grasp on her role. Her two-year journey has allowed her to explore and eventually love the way she portrayed Elizabeth Bennet in the show.

In her first performance as a lead, Naehr hoped to set the same stage that others had done for her. 

“As a senior, I enjoyed this position because I got to set the tone for the show,” Naehr said. “The leads during ‘Newsies’ created this wonderful, inclusive, communal atmosphere, and that’s what I was really trying to do with this one.”

Following up on her words, Naehr often delivered coffee for the underclassmen and helped them with math homework in her free time. Naehr says that the actors in the Fall Play have become more than just an ensemble, but a family. 

Sophomore Sasha Mintz, who played Jane Bennet, also uses this cohesive term to describe the cast. 

“When we have those shared moments and experiences on stage, that’s where the inside jokes come from and even when we’re off stage we can’t stop laughing about them,” Mintz said. “It’s hard to get any work done in rehearsals because once you’re in the cast for that long, they become your favorite people.” 

According to Stires Hardin, the actors put in their all during rehearsals, dance scenes and memorizing lines for the play. All this “hard work” could not be more apparent during the final week before production, Tech Week.

“It’s insanity and euphoria and all sorts of fabulousness. You’re so sleep-deprived. You practically live in the VST. Homework and everything else becomes secondary,” Naehr said.

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About the Contributors
Aien Du
Aien Du, Online Section Editor
Aien Du ('26) joined The Review in 2022 as a freshman. She loves fashion and the color pink. Autocorrect changes her name to Alien.
Nathan Kim
Nathan Kim, Staff Writer
Nathan Kim ('26) joined The Review in 2022 as a freshman. He enjoys listening to one song on repeat until he gets sick of it, and his favorite movie is Pacific Rim.

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