thumb image
Artful Living | Why You Need to See “Emma” at the Guthrie Theater

Photography by Dan Norman

Pop culture is such a prevalent aspect of our contemporary world that it’s difficult to imagine life without it. One could argue that Jane Austen was a pioneer of this phenomenon, crafting stories of romance that have served as inspiration for some of the most iconic plot lines we’ve all come to know and love (think nineties blockbuster hit Clueless). Kate Hamill’s Emma is based on Austen’s beloved novel of the same name and is joyfully laced with a fresh dose of humor and relevancy. Here are 3 takeaways from the Guthrie Theater’s world-premiere production of Emma and why you need to see this belly laugh–inducing play.

Love is in the air.

The art of a summer fling has proven the test of time and will never go out of style. Austen’s body of work provides the perfect case study for examining the consuming powers of love and its ability to make even the most illogical scenarios somehow seem, well, logical. Hamill’s fresh take on the matter leans into the timeless modernity of Austen’s affinity for love, playfully infusing the title character with a fresh spirit and cupid powers that embody wit, charm and heart. If it’s up to Austen, love is never not in the air.

Artful Living | Why You Need to See “Emma” at the Guthrie Theater

Laughing together feels really good.

There’s nothing quite like being in a room with others and collectively experiencing something entirely new together. Every puzzle piece of the Guthrie’s production of Emma delivers surprises and promotes joy from beginning to end, including the sound design, which features the music of powerhouse songstress Lizzo and more. Being in a room full of strangers and belly laughing the entire time felt like a radical act of catharsis and thoughtful healing — an act I’m beyond grateful to have enjoyed and that will be staying with me until further notice.

Artful Living | Why You Need to See “Emma” at the Guthrie Theater

The future is (still) female.

If there’s one takeaway I’m celebrating most after seeing this production, it’s the power of a strong, well-written female character. One of Hamill’s top skills as a playwright is crafting grounded characters who carry with them an inspired amount of curiosity that leads to the ultimate unfolding and discovery of new ideas. Each of the female characters in this production has a moment of being gloriously loud, proud and, most of all, empowered. Given the current times we’re living in, it couldn’t feel more appropriate or serendipitous to have the region’s largest theater handing women the mic and giving them the stage to share their perspectives. Bravo to that!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This