Theatre Workshop Kicks Off 2024 Season With "Sense And Sensibility"

Waverly Brannigan •

The cast of TWN's "Sense And Sensibility." Photo by Kit Noble

The Theatre Workshop of Nantucket will kick off its 68th season with an adaptation of Jane Austen's well-loved novel, “Sense And Sensibility.” The opening performance is Wednesday, June 5th, at 7 p.m.

Written by Kate Hamill and directed by Justin Cerne, the play promises a fresh take on the story of the Dashwood sisters, Elinor and Marianne.

The production follows the Dashwood sisters, played by Erica Knight and Chelsie Sutherland, as they navigate financial hardship and social pressures after their father's death. Set in a gossip-filled 18th-century England, the play combines humor, emotional depth, and theatrical flair. It delves into our reactions to societal expectations, which can often be both ridiculous and reasonable at times.

“It's constructed really well,” says Cerne, producing artistic director at Theatre Workshop of Nantucket and director of the show. “It's funny. It captures the moments that people know and love from ‘Sense And Sensibility.’ And it also takes the dialog and turns it a little bit on its head, just giving it a little bit more of a modern feel,” he elaborates.

True to its Nantucket roots, TWN strives to create a collaborative environment for island productions by featuring local talent alongside renowned professionals from around the country. Cerne said that TWN’s production of “Sense And Sensibility” is about 50-50 with local and off-island talent. The play also features original music composed and recorded by island musicians Mollie Glazer and Isaiah Williams.

“It's incredible the talent that exists here on the island, and it’s really fun to get to see those folks on stage with people that have been on Broadway,” Cerne added. “An audience member that doesn't know any of these people is going to come in and is not going to know who's who, and that's what's even more exciting and special.”


“Sense And Sensibility” also offers a unique visual experience, further elevating the performance. Set designer Jeffrey Petersen has created an artistic, stunning and transportive environment, unlike anything seen before at TWN’s home in Bennett Hall on Centre Street. And costume designer Casey Boukus complements the set and show with a blend of rich regency style and contemporary touches.

This show also marks the first full return to in-person auditions since the COVID-19 pandemic at TWN (in recent years they had been done virtually or hybrid), reminding all involved of the personal connections and collaboration that allows for the success within theatre.

“This is the first time since the pandemic that we've been able to hold completely live auditions for a season…and it really reminded me what theatre is about, you know, it is live,” Cerne reflected. “It's really important for even the audition process to start that way, because getting a sense of who people are and their energy and how you're going to work together is so important in the process.”

The show kicks off the rest of TWN’s 2024 season, which will include productions like “Clue” and “Tick Tick… BOOM!” to come throughout the summer.

“Sense and Sensibility” will run at the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket at Bennett Hall, 62 Centre Street, from June 5th through June 22nd, 2024. All shows are at 7 p.m., with one 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, June 16th. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit TWN’s website here.

Loading Ad
Loading Ad
Loading Ad

Current News