The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The student news site of Glenbard South High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois

The Independent

The Wizard of Oz: Interviews with the Cast
Olivia Abbott and Aniyah NelsonApril 7, 2024

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“Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley”- An Onstage Winter Wonderland

%E2%80%9CMiss+Bennet%3A+Christmas+at+Pemberley%E2%80%9D+premiered+at+the+McAninch+Arts+Center+on+November+16%2C+closing+on+December+17.+Illustrator%3A+Amelia+Buhle
“Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” premiered at the McAninch Arts Center on November 16, closing on December 17. Illustrator: Amelia Buhle

Jane Austen wrote numerous novels- “Emma,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “Persuasion”-but none is more beloved than Pride and Prejudice. Since being published in 1813, this novel has drawn in readers across every age and background. The novel stars the headstrong and intelligent Elizabeth Bennet, and as her counterpart and love interest, the taciturn and proud Fitzwilliam Darcy. As the novel unfolds, Elizabeth finds herself falling in love with the introverted and aloof Mr. Darcy. The book is not only a love story, but also examines familial relationships, with Elizabeth and her five sisters all living with their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet. 

“Miss. Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley,” written by Lauren Guderson, Margot Melcon and directed by Amelia Barret, is a play that acts as a sequel to Pride and Prejudice, set two years after the novel’s close. However, by the end of Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet is no longer a “Miss,” but a “Mrs.,” as she has married Mr. Darcy. The “Miss Bennet” in question is Mary Bennet, Elizabeth’s bookish sister. 

“Miss. Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” stars Mary Bennet, and for the first time ever, allows her to take center stage in her own quest for love. The play is set in the days leading up to Christmas at Pemberley,  and, while Mary Bennet is there to take in some festive cheer, she meets her true love. The play is  a romantic comedy, and while Mary Bennet had been a somewhat unlikable side character in the original novel, Mary Bennet comes to life onstage. 

“Miss. Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” was performed at the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at the College of Dupage by the Buffalo Theatre Ensemble, and ran from November 16 to December 17. Comprised of eight cast members, the show had a relatively small cast, but was bursting with talented performers sharing an enthusiasm for storytelling. Mary Bennet was played by Whitney Dottery, Arthur de Bourg was played by Daniel Millhouse, Elizabeth Darcy was played by Paige Klopfenstein, Fitzwilliam Darcy was played by Robert Hunter Bry, Jane Bingley was played by Charlotte Foster, Charles Bingley was played by Benedict L. Slabik II, Lydia Wickham was played by Danielle Kerr and Anne de Bourg was played by Katherine Able. 

“Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” is a Christmas tale of love and humor of the previously forgotten Mary Bennet. Source: Emma Pekkarinen


A warm and comforting way to get into the cozy winter spirit, “Miss. Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” was enjoyable for both superfans of Jane Austen and those who have never once heard of
Pride and Prejudice alike.  According to an interview with the director, Amelia Barret, from Backstage Buzz, the play was perfect “…if you love Jane Austen, if you love period dramas but it has a little contemporary twist.”  “It is a love story, and it’s a comedy and it’s family,” continued Barret. “You don’t have to know any Jane Austen to appreciate it,” assured Barret when advising others to come see it and speaking to the merits of the play as a standalone work, in and of itself. 

With the optimism of finding true love as well as the lighthearted wit and comedy, a trademark of Austen’s own work, “Miss. Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” was as perfect for the winter season as classics like “A Christmas Carol.”  The ultimate showstopper was watching snowflakes drift down on the regency era set and the phenomenal cast. With the snow, one could not help but be fully enraptured in the magical world of Jane Austen and the winter season itself. 

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About the Contributor
Emma Pekkarinen
Emma Pekkarinen, Editor in Chief

My name is Emma Pekkarinen and I am a senior and one of the Co-Editors in Chief this year. When I’m not writing articles for The Independent you can find me reading, baking, or enjoying a walk outside. At South I also am a member of Speech Team and Model United Nations. 

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