Emma

by KATE HAMILL
based on the novel by JANE AUSTEN
directed by MEREDITH McDONOUGH

Wurtele Thrust Stage

A playful twist on a classic

Emma Woodhouse prides herself on being a matchmaker with an impeccable track record, much to the chagrin of her dear friend Mr. Knightley. Her latest scheme revolves around the sweet Harriet Smith, whom Emma advises to reject a perfectly good marriage proposal in favor of another eligible bachelor. However, her best-laid plans are turned upside down by unpredictable displays of affection, unexpected rivals and Emma’s sudden realization that true love may have been under her nose all along. With screwball comedy and surprises aplenty, this fresh, fast-paced world premiere interprets the Jane Austen classic with delightfully unconventional flair.

What Jane Austen fans should know:

 

  • This isn’t your grandmother’s Emma. Major characters and plot points hold fast, but Hamill approaches her adaptation in radical ways, including leaning into screwball comedy a la Lucille Ball.
  • It’s a joyous, fast-paced take in conversation with the classic: You’ll see gorgeous Regency-era trappings with quirky, modern twists that speak to both then and now.
  • You may be surprised by who says what — and how. One thing we know to be true: You’ll never see Emma the same way again.

Ticket prices

Prices range from $15 to $80.

Pro tip: Preview performances start at $15 (June 18–23). Hurry, these go quickly! 

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Health and safety 

All audience members, regardless of age, must wear a mask that securely covers the nose and mouth (no bandanas, neck gaiters or face shields) when entering and inside the theater. Proof of vaccination is not required to see a performance at the Guthrie.

Venue info

Emma will take place on the Wurtele Thrust Stage.

Pro tip: Can't do stairs or have a special seating request? Call the Box Office for details. 

Accessibility

ASL-interpreted, audio-described and open-captioned performances are available on select dates.

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Run time

Approximately 2 hours, 25 minutes (including intermission). 

Relaxed performance 

The Guthrie will offer a relaxed performance of Emma on Sunday, July 24 at 1 p.m. Although these performances are open to all patrons, they are intentionally modified to accommodate patrons with sensory and vestibular sensitivities, anxiety, dementia, autism spectrum disorders, learning differences or challenges attending the theater.

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Post-play discussions

Join us after select performances for a facilitated discussion to process the play with people who care deeply about the production and its themes. Depending on availability, speakers may include actors, dramaturgs, Guthrie staff members and people with lived experiences related to the play.

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Play guide and program

Want to dig deeper into this story? Download the play guide or a digital version of the program.  

In the news

Two years later...

This world-premiere comedy was on hold for two years but, amazingly, the entire company stayed together. 

Find out how in the Star Tribune.

Interview

"From the beginning, we've wanted people to feel like they could come and join the party."

Hear from playwright Kate Hamill and director Meredith McDonough in an exclusive interview with WCCO. 

Review

"[Kate Hamill's] world premiere adaptation of Jane Austen's novel is a hoot that also finds the hurt behind the humor."

Read the full review in the Star Tribune. 

Video 

Painting strawberries

Go behind the scenes of Emma with Scenic Artist Lydia Francis as she paints larger-than-life strawberries created by Props Artisan Erin Brandt.

Photos

David Kelly (Mr. Weston), Amelia Pedlow (Emma Woodhouse), Christine Weber (Jane Fairfax), Louis Sallan (Mr. Elton), Carman Lacivita (Mr. Knightley), Anna Leverett (Mrs. Elton), and Brenda Withers (Mrs. Anne Weston). Photo: Dan Norman

Amelia Pedlow (Emma Woodhouse)/BACK (Left to Right): Samantha Steinmetz (Harriet Smith), Sun Mee Chomet (Miss Bates), Anna Leverett (Mrs. Elton), Brenda Withers (Mrs. Anne Weston), David Kelly (Mr. Weston), Carman Lacivita (Mr. Knightley), and Louis Sallan (Mr. Elton). Photo: Dan Norman. 

Brenda Withers (Mrs. Anne Weston), David Kelly (Mr. Weston), Amelia Pedlow (Emma Woodhouse), Carman Lacivita (Mr. Knightley), Sun Mee Chomet (Miss Bates), and Christine Weber (Jane Fairfax). Photo: Dan Norman

The cast of Emma. Photo: Dan Norman. 

Artists

Cast

Sun Mee Chomet

Miss Bates

David Kelly

Mr. Weston /Mr. Woodhouse

Carman Lacivita

Mr. George Knightley

Anna Leverett

Mrs. Elton

Amelia Pedlow

Emma Woodhouse

Juan Rivera Lebron

Robert Martin /Frank Churchill

Louis Sallan

Mr. Elton

Samantha Steinmetz

Harriet Smith

Christine Weber

Jane Fairfax

Brenda Withers

Mrs. Anne Weston

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Creative Team

Kate Hamill

Playwright

Meredith McDonough

Director

Lex Liang

Scenic & Costume Designer

Paul Toben

Lighting Designer

Palmer Hefferan

Sound Designer

Carla Steen

Resident Dramaturg

Jill Walmsley Zager

Voice and Dialect Coach

Emily Michaels King

Movement Director

Aaron Preusse

Fight Director

Tree O'Halloran

Stage Manager

Nate Stanger

Assistant Stage Manager

Jennifer Liestman

Resident Casting Director

Tonia Sina

Intimacy

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