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Regency Romance! “MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY” Opens December 1


Live Arts Theater brings a little Regency romance to the holiday season with the Jane Austen-inspired sequel, MISS BENNET: CHRISTMAS AT PEMBERLEY, by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon. Directed by Marianne Kubik, and presented by The Caplin Foundation, MISS BENNET will have 12 performances in the Gibson Theater, December 1 through December 17, 2023, at Live Arts Theater, 123 E. Water Street, in Charlottesville. 

Live Arts will host three special events for MISS BENNET: Opening night reception following the performance on December 1, 2023; post-show audience talk-back on Thursday, December 14 (7:30pm curtain); and Holiday Tea at Pemberley, a Live Arts fundraiser preceding the final 2pm matinee performance on December 17. Audiences are welcome to enjoy bar and concessions one hour prior to the performance and at intermission.

Tickets are included in Live Arts mini-subscription packages, starting at just $90 for the remaining four 2023/24 productions. Single tickets for MISS BENNET are $27 for adults or $24 for students and senior citizens and are available through the Box Office at, by phone at 434-977-4177 x123, or online at

About the Show

“Droll and delicious, MISS BENNET is a charming, confectionary celebration of fan favorite characters from Pride and Prejudice … a warm-spirited holiday theatrical production.” –

In December 2023, Live Arts journeys to Pemberley and the grand estate of Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy. MISS BENNET continues Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice two years after the novel ends – with Lizzy and Darcy now happily wed and bookish, middle sister Mary as the heroine. As Bennet sisters Mary, Jane, and Lydia gather at Lizzy’s for Christmas, an unexpected gentleman arrives. Has Mary met her intellectual match, and perhaps found true love? MISS BENNET is a warm-spirited romantic holiday comedy sure to delight Jane-ites and newcomers alike.

 “A perfectly constructed love story … destined to populate future holiday seasons.” – San Francisco Chronicle

About the Team

Live Arts production of MISS BENNET is directed by Marianne Kubik, assisted by Cortney Lowinski, and features eight talented local performers: Austen Weathersby as Mary Bennet, Benedict A. Burgess as Arthur de Bourgh, Evelyn Garey as Elizabeth Darcy, Jesse Timmons as Fitzwilliam Darcy, N. Adora Txakeeyang as Jane Bingley, Hillel Finder as Charles Bingley, Ella Caplin as Lydia Wickham, and Catherine Gilbert as Anne de Bourgh.

The production’s dynamic creative team includes: Carter Walker (production stage manager); Kerry Moran (scenic design, set dressing and properties); Rachel Pfundstein (lighting design); Skye Devlin (sound design); Megan Hilary (costume design); and Daryl O’Connor (properties design).

Performance History

MISS BENNET was originally produced in November 2016 by Northlight Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, and also by Round House Theatre in Bethesda, Maryland, and Marin Theatre Company in Mill Valley, California. The complete “Christmas at Pemberley” Trilogy is comprised of MISS BENNET, The Wickhams and Georgiana and Kitty.

About the Playwrights

Lauren Gunderson is one of the most produced playwrights in America since 2015, a two-time winner of the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for I and You and The Book of Will, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s Residency with Marin Theatre Company. She co-authored the Miss Bennet Trilogy (Miss Bennet, The Wickhams, Georgiana and Kitty) with Margot Melcon. Her plays include The Catastrophist, about her husband virologist Nathan Wolfe; The Half-Life of Marie Curie (premiered off-Broadway and at; I and You, Exit Pursued by A Bear, The Taming, Toil And Trouble, The Revolutionists, The Book of Will, Silent Sky, Bauer, Natural Shocks, and Emilie. Lauren is a co-book writer of the musicals Jeannette, The Time Traveller’s Wife, Sinister, Justice, Earthrise, and Built for This.

About the Director

Marianne Kubik is a physical theatre artist with an interest in telling stories through movement, gesture, and visual composition who regularly directs and also choreographs stage movement, historical dance, and staged fights. She has collaborated on productions at the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, Huntington Theatre Company, Ashlawn Opera, and Heritage (Virginia) Theatre Festival. Marianne’s original/devised projects have premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, New York Musical Theatre Festival, and the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. Favorites from past Live Arts collaborations include LES MISÉRABLES, WINTERTIME, TARTUFFE, LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES, THE LIAR, and AMADEUS. MISS BENNET marks the first time she is directing for Live Arts. Marianne is an Associate Professor of movement and acting at the University of Virginia, where she previously served as Artistic Director for UVA Drama and Head of theatre movement for the MFA Acting program. She is a Certified Teacher of stage combat with the Society of American Fight Directors.

About Live Arts 

Live Arts is a volunteer-powered, nonprofit community theater in Downtown Charlottesville. Founded in 1990, Live Arts is celebrating more than 33 years of forging theater and community. The 2023/24 Expectations Season is made possible by Elizabeth LeVaca remembering Joe LeVaca, C-VILLE Weekly, WTJU 91.1FM, Ting, and PJ Networks Computer Services. Shows are sponsored by The Caplin Foundation, Barbara and Jay Kessler, The Madwoman Project, Story House Real Estate, Woodard Properties, and George Worthington and Cameron Mowat, Geri and Bruce Schirmer, and Miller and Lee Susen. The season is supported by philanthropic gifts by hundreds of theater lovers in the Charlottesville community.

Live Arts is supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, which receives support from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the City of Charlottesville; and Albemarle County.

National Endowment for the Arts

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