An adaptation of the beloved Jane Austen novel, BYU’s production of “Pride and Prejudice” was not your standard re-telling of the story of the Bennet sisters. Written for a modern world, this production stayed true to the story while introducing a slightly contemporary edge to Jane Austen’s world.

As I approached this production it became quickly apparent to both the director and I that this production was going to be a very music heavy show. The director wanted live musicians on stage, and with balls happening throughout the play we knew there would be plenty of opportunity to use music to help further the story along.

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I had the pleasure of working with our music director/composer, Joseph Phillips, to bring our world alive on stage through music. With a mix of contemporary and period there was a lot of discussion of wanting to add distinctive songs that a modern audience would recognize while also balancing a good deal of original musical underscoring in the show. In these discussions of what the music could be in our show, we ended invoking the feeling of music from a modern period drama with a distinct overture, character themes, and then our balls which were a mix of arrangements of familiar songs and original music.

Pride and Prejudice – Overture | Composer: Joseph Phillips

In addition to music, this show also utilized several soundscapes and effects to reinforce locations on our revolving unit set and help to immerse the audience. The goal of these effects was to blend into the background and accentuate the action. Ranging from a bell sound to help add a bit of humor to a scene to a background rain sound effect to help illustrate the weather in a scene, these effects were simplistic and carefully placed.