Actor/playwright Kate Hamill has cornered the market on energetic, quirky theatrical adaptations of classic literature – Vanity Fair, Little Women, The Scarlet Letter – but she got her start with Jane Austen. (Even though Austen didn't write Dracula.)
Over the past four years, Hamill's madcap versions of Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice had off-Broadway runs in New York and such vigorous afterlives in regional theaters that they helped turn Hamill into one of America’s twenty most-produced playwrights for three years running. (She’s also written a Mansfield Park that, as far as I know, has only been produced once, near Chicago.)
Now comes welcome news for Janeites: Hamill has written a new adaptation of Emma, which will premiere in April at Minneapolis’ famed Guthrie Theater, just eight weeks after the U.S. opening of a new feature-film version of the novel. (It’s Emma year!) Another production is scheduled for April-May 2021at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
No word yet on whether Hamill’s Emma – not to mention her Mansfield Park -- will have a New York production, but my fingers are crossed.