See “Sense and Sensibility” as never before, presented by Theatre UAB

Theatre UAB presents a playful new adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved novel, with glorious costumes, pop music and bright bursts of color, Nov. 9-12 and 16-19.

theatre ss posterFollow the fortunes — and misfortunes — of the Dashwood sisters in a new adaptation of “Sense and Sensibility,” presented by Theatre UAB from Nov. 9-12 and Nov. 16-19.

Jane Austen’s beloved novel tells the tale of sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne Dashwood, who are left financially destitute and socially vulnerable after their father’s sudden death. Theatre UAB’s playful new version of the classic novel is written by Kate Hamill. This is the first Theatre UAB production to be directed by Santiago Sosa, assistant professor of voice and movement at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Student George Barreto is assistant director. 

Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. nightly Nov. 9-12 and Nov. 16-18 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 19, in the Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center’s Odess Theatre. Tickets are $15; students $6; UAB employees and senior citizens $10. To purchase tickets, call the Alys Stephens Center Box Office at 205-975-2787 or visit

Theatre UAB is the performance company of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Theatre.

“Sense and Sensibility” is easily his favorite Jane Austen novel, says Sosa, who loves “antithetical ideas that always seem to challenge our desire for restraint or unfiltered passion.”

When approaching this show, Sosa realized that, to tell this story as it lives in his mind’s eye, he would have to take an anachronistic approach that still maintains the novel’s heart and soul. It was not possible to transport the audience to a different time period and truly capture that regency era: The script has more than 40 scenes, and 10 actors playing more than 40 roles, on a mostly empty stage, all within a two-hour time frame for a modern audience.

What he came up with is something that still captures the enthusiasm, pageantry, excitement and emotional depth of Austen’s beloved characters, as well as our own in this present day.  

“What you are about to experience is the story and the circumstances of these beloved characters as they exist in my disco ball brain, full of glittery movements, heightened language, glorious costumes, pop music and bright bursts of pastel, creamy colors, swirling around on the stage you see before you now,” Sosa said. “Please lean forward; laugh, cry and/or tap your feet to the beat of ‘Sense and Sensibility.’”  

About the cast and crew

Stage management is by TaShauna Ajoi Jenkins, with assistant stage managers Jazzy Pedroza-Watson and Sawyer Luke. The text coach is Abigail Coats. C.J. Romano of Birmingham is scenic charge.  

The cast is Rosie Coryell of Portage, Michigan, as Elinor Dashwood; Kiersten David of Chelsea, Alabama, as Marianne Dashwood; Kirk Kirkpatrick of Birmingham, as Edward Ferrars/Robert Ferrars/Gossip; Simon Sarnowski of Mechanicsburg, Michigan, as Willoughby/John Dashwood/Gossip; Elaysha Travis of Madison, Mississippi, as Mrs. Dashwood/Anne Steele/Gossip; McKenna Shaw of Pittsburg, Kansas, as Fanny Dashwood/Lucy Steele/Lady Middleton/Gossip; Morgan Tapp of St. Petersburg, Florida, as Mrs. Jennings/Gossip; Cade McCall of Headland, Alabama, as John Middleton/Servant/Gossip/Doctor; Celia Knox of Mobile, Alabama, as Margaret Dashwood/Mrs. Ferrars/Gossip; and Nick Lynn of Kansas City, Missouri, as Colonel Brandon/Thomas/Gossip. Understudies are Michael Mercardo of Florence, Alabama; Sammy Sledd of Huntsville, Alabama; Owen McManus of Huntsville, Alabama; Norah Trench of Birmingham; and Sophie Grace Bell of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Props design is by Jim Luther, sound design by David Page, costume design by Kimberly Schnormeier, set design by Alan Schwanke, and lighting design by Ed Zuckerman.