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Blinn-Bryan Theatre Troupe embraces the holiday season with a healthy dose of Jane Austen

'Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley' runs Nov. 28-30 at the Blinn-Bryan Student Center with an abridged community performance at St. Andrew’s Church in downtown Bryan on Dec. 1

'Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley' runs Nov. 28-30 at the Blinn-Bryan Student Center with an abridged community performance at St. Andrew’s Church in downtown Bryan on Dec. 1

November 20, 2023

The Blinn-Bryan Theatre Troupe (BBTT) brings the world of Jane Austen to life this holiday season with its upcoming production of Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon’s “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley,” a heartfelt imagined sequel to the classic “Pride and Prejudice.”

“This play is just so much fun and a great way to kick off the holiday season. It will really warm your heart,” Blinn-Bryan Theatre Director Greg Wise said. “It’s a period piece so our students get to explore the Regency period, speak in British accents, and dress in period costumes. If you don’t know Jane Austen, you’re missing something.”

First produced in 2016, “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” reintroduces the audience to the Bennet sisters of “Pride and Prejudice” with a new focus on nerdy, unmarried middle sister Mary. Two years after the novel ends, the family has gathered at the Pemberley estate for the holidays. Tired of her role as the dutiful daughter and sister, Mary yearns for independence. When an unexpected guest sparks her interest, Mary may finally have met her match. A romantic comedy at heart, “Miss Bennet” celebrates sisterhood and all the joy of the holiday season.

Texas A&M University Performance Studies major Syara Villareal, who plays Mary, hopes the audience resonates with her character’s strength and the theme of familial bonds.

“The play is such a warm Christmas story all about love, sisters, and coming into your own as a person,” Villareal said. “Mary is so strong-willed and independent, but you see someone who’s really finding out who they are and how does that correlate to finding love and being with her family?”

Mackenzie Owens, who plays the eldest Bennet sister Jane Bingley, hopes the audience enjoys the show’s hilarious sisterly banter and period costumes.

“We’re going to have period outfits and wigs – it’s going to be so much fun,” Owens said. “Who doesn’t love a British accent?”

The cast also includes Augustus Cosby as Arthur DeBourgh, Ashley Wienecke as Elizabeth Darcy, Matthew Burhus as Fitzwilliam Darcy, Seth Cook as Charles Bingley, Abigail Boyd as Lydia Wickham, Chrissy Hockensmith as Anne DeBourgh, Jordan Ingram as the Maid, and Seth Arroyo as the Butler.

Production team members are Marie Townsend, stage manager; Karenza McRae, assistant stage manager; Daylin Darnell, properties designer and production assistant; David Gipson, light design; Fabian Santana, light board operator; Roisin Alexis, sound design; Rachel Smeltzer, production assistant; Seth Arroyo and Jordan Ingram, costumes; and Lizzete Velez, house manager and marketing.

Full-length performances run at the Blinn-Bryan Student Center (Building F, map ) Tuesday through Thursday, Nov. 28-30. The BBTT will bring an excerpt of the play to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church during downtown Bryan’s First Friday, Dec. 1. All performances take place at 6 p.m. and tickets are available at

The show is recommended for ages 12 and up.

The Troupe will continue its season in the spring with Nick Payne’s “Constellations” Feb. 15-18 and Jeff Bowen’s [title of show] April 18-21 and April 24-25.

To learn more about the BBTT, contact Wise at For more information about Blinn’s Theatre Arts Program, visit

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