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What to know before the show

Start here:


An Exciting Adaptation

Published in 1811, Sense and Sensibility is considered a classic.  The Alley's production was adapted by playwright and actress, Kate Hamill - and in it she asks the following questions:  

Are there differences between what you think is right and what society thinks is right?

Do you follow the rules or do you break the rules? 

Stop and Jot:

As you work through this page, students should make notes on the following. They will come in handy for the exercise below: 

  1. What's different, in this world, from your own?

  2. What facts stand out to you about the play and its setting? Why?

Jane Austen

Jane Austen, the author of the novel, has been beloved for hundreds of years. 


But who is she?

Watch this video to learn more about Ms. Austin and her style.

All About Context

Jane writes about a time period MUCH different from our own.

Here's what you need to know about her world.  Note what is similar and different between our time and hers.


Take a stroll through Jane Austen’s England with this interactive map:

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Money Makes HerWorld Go 'Round

Money is a key element in Sense & Sensibility. Watch this video, then proceed to the classroom activity.

Classroom Activity:

Time Machine

Objective: Students gain a deeper understanding of the play's time period and setting.


  1. Have students review each of the sources above and note differences between the world of the play and their own.

  2. Ask students to imagine that they step into a time portal and are transported to this time period - without knowing how to return. They must fit in to survive. 

  3. Students must document their adventure via first-person journal entries and/or pictures.

  4. Ask students to address the following questions:

    1. What are you​​​ wearing? What do they feel like? How did you get your clothes?

    2. How do you get money?

    3. What's the location like? How is it different or similar to your life here? 

  5. While students work, set the mood with music and images from the period.

  6. Have students share.

Places, Please!

Now that we've given you some context, it's almost time to watch the show. But before you do:

  1. Take a look at the trailer for the production.

  2. Make a list of three questions, thoughts, or concerns you have about what you will see. 

  3. Take a long look at the character charts below, and feel free to reference when watching the show. Tracking all the characters can be a bit tricky!

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