You on the Moors Now At UW-Milwaukee’s Department of Theater.

Jaclyn Backhaus riffs off the characters from Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, and Anne and Charlotte Bronte and produces an absolutely smart and hilarious farce. Our characters are four of your favorite women from Pride and PrejudiceWuthering HeightsJane Eyre, and Little Women and the their ardent suitors. From the starting point of the novels and the romantic standards of the time, four men ardently pursue four women and propose and…are ardently turned down! That’s not how it’s supposed to work.

And after espousing more contemporary ideas on romance, love, and marriage, there is nothing left for our heroines to do other than band together and then flee! And true to their nature, our suitors follow in hot pursuit. So given the nature of the novels there are twists and turns and misunderstandings and a variety of misconceptions.

And pursuit results in confrontation and an actual battle of the sexes…and it’s all fun and games until an actual bodice gets ripped…by a knife…and a heroine dies on stage. That seems to bring everyone to their senses and on to:

Chapter 33: A Tenth Annual reunion at Pemberley which is now a museum that documents these events and the Truce of Pemberley. All of the principals attend but unlike the prior scenes, the period is much more contemporary, the conversation far more natural to our ears at least, with the 19th Century lost in the rear view mirror. And Jane Eyre is now an astronaut!

Director Jeffrey Mosser, a department lecturer in storytelling and acting, has assembled an incredible cast from the theater department, and they all play their characters to the hilt! And he has them playing the humor as over the top as possible…and I am sure this Darcy (Duleon Schneider) is a fopier fop than the real Darcy would have ever hoped to be!

And the stage was a trove of information…and not just the props…but the false proscenium arch to the rear that supported a screen where the acts were named and the locations were outlined…so we knew when we were at Wuthering Heights!

© 2024 Ed Heinzelman

Two minor quibbles: The actors were speaking with period accents and quite quickly. It was difficult to understand what was being said at times. And this is a farce and there was a great deal of laughter…but the cast wasn’t prepared to wait it out and some dialogue was lost in laughing. And I apologize for the lack of photos this time.

So from last fall’s Macbeth to You on the Moors Now the theater department of UW – Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts proves that they can do it all!

Partly through my lack of knowledge of 19th C literature, I got lost a few times on who is who. But here is the cast list from the Program (which can be found here ).

article © 2024 The New World Digs

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