Wow, it has been a long time since I have written one of these posts. Senior year has been quite the rush with college applications, AP classes, and general stress of what is to come. But, now, I’ll let you in on a little secret: I’m pretty much done! Why, you wonder, am I done after only finishing the first semester? Well, because I just got into college!!! Yes, that is right. As of December 18th I am officially a part of the University of Chicago class of 2020!!!! (Eeeeeppp!) I literally screamed like that when I read the letter!!
So now, instead of scrambling to write Princeton and Yale’s application supplements (which I hadn’t even started…whoops) by January 1st, I can relax and actually spend my winter break doing what I want to do (which is this, by the way).
So, last night for fun my family and I went to see Jane Austen Unscripted at the Broad Theatre. The theatre is a part of Santa Monica College; however, this performance was simply using the space and was made up of actual (as in not student) actors. The sketch was perfectly delightful and really, really funny! In these ‘unscripted’ plays (there is a whole series of different ones) the entire plot, dialogue, characters, etc. are all made up on the spot: it’s improv! So, when they first arrive on stage they ask the audience for a conversation to start (in my show the word was “apothecary” and I have no idea why that was the first thing someone shouted out) and then from there they created a scene based in the world of Jane Austen’s novels and then built on it. All the actors were very funny and good about moving the plot along, interacting with their fellow actors, and creating a story of interest.
The plot of the play I saw was that a young, frail girl could not get the medicines she needed in her hometown, so her father sends her sister and her to their uncle’s house in Dover. Once in Dover they meet up with their cousin, Mary, and run into two young gentlemen, Mr. Hawthorne and Mr. Preston. Each of the sisters ends up falling in love with one of the two gentlemen and scandals erupt when Evelyn (the frail girl) holds hands with Mr. Preston and it turns out that Mr. Hawthorne was once a Spanish pirate named Roberto. Along the way there are also lots of other hysterical interactions. For instance, we learn that Mary has taken to collecting little baby birds and building nests for them in her living room.
I had a fantastic time and laughed the whole way through. Being on a smaller stage at the Broad, the actors performed in front of only about 70 of us which made the entire thing more personable and intimate. I loved the whole production so much that I want to go back and see another one! My dad said that he would want to see another Jane Austen version to compare the jokes and plot lines. I, on the other hand, would rather see a different version as they have many: Fairytales, Westerns, L.A. Noir, and the Twilight Zone, just to name a few. And one of the nicest things about the improv is that you don’t have to know anything about Jane Austen’s novels. The comedy is set in her world and time, but there are no references to the Dashwoods or Pemberley or anything Austen created.
Everyone in my family (mom, dad, younger sister, and I) had a great evening and each of us were able to appreciate the production and laugh along. Besides getting into college (still can’t get over that: whoo!!) I can’t imagine another better way to kick-off my winter break!