MILTON — Though this novel was published in 1815 by Jane Austen, it is as fresh and hilarious a story today as it was then, especially when adapted into a fast-paced comedy.
Christ Wesleyan Theatre Productions will present “Emma” tonight through Saturday at 7 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m., at Christ Wesleyan Church, 363 Stamm Road, Milton.
Directed by Christ Wesleyan Theatre Production’s Ryan Brosious, the play focuses on Emma Woodhouse, who sees herself as an accomplished matchmaker, though her dearest friend and brother-in-law, Mr. Knightley, has reason to doubt her mischievous abilities. Nevertheless, she fiddles in the romantic affairs of the people around her, only to learn that it’s sometimes wiser to allow love and marriage to follow their own natural courses — which could lead to a delightful romance of her own.
Pastor Ryan Brosious, director of the play, was happy to offer something lighthearted for this year’s production.
“After a year like 2020, we felt our theatre needed to change our plans for 2021,” he said. “Following a year of the theatre being closed, we wanted to bring something comical to the stage. ‘Emma’ was just the right fit and offers the classic romantic comedy to our community. The wit and unique portrayals by our cast make this production unforgettable.”
Assistant director is Carole Brosious (no relation to Pastor Brosious). Emma is portrayed by Christine Hilterman, and Mr. Knightley by Seth Confer.
“Emma is very optimistic and well-meaning, but she has her own character flaws that she must confront throughout the course of the show,” Hilterman said.
Although CW Theatre Productions often presents a dinner theater, due to COVID restrictions, the meal portion will not be offered this year. Nevertheless, audiences will find it easy to be transported to Emma’s world with the help of authentic costumes and props.
“Audiences will love the big laughs, the beautiful Regency period costumes, the creative set and special effects, and the top-level performances from our actors ... plus it’s easy on their wallets,” Pastor Brosious said. “It’s a show safe for the whole family, like all our shows, and is just what’s needed after the crazy year we’ve all had.”
In true Emma style, Hilterman took a more lighthearted approach when asked what audiences will enjoy about the play.
“What a wonderful way to celebrate the return of theater to the stage,” she said. “Come enjoy a light-hearted classic. and you don’t even have to watch through a computer screen.”
With an eye toward COVID mitigation, tickets are available to purchase in-person only at Well Read Bookstore and at the CWC Milton Campus Receptionist (Entrance #1) during the week. Cash or check are accepted. Seating for this show is at a reduced, first come, first served capacity to allow social distancing.
To learn more about the show and ticketing, visit www.cwtheatre.org or call 570-742-8987.
Cindy O. Herman lives in Snyder County. Email comments to CindyOHerman@gmail.com