South Carolina Shakespeare Company in Columbia, SC in partnership with the University of SC Department of Theatre and Dance, will present Cheer from Chawton: A Jane Austen Family Theatrical performed at Drayton Hall on Sumter St on the USC campus by New York actress, Karen Eterovich, September 28-29, 2012 at 8 PM. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Ms. Eterovich also wrote the play and adapted excerpts from Austen's work to tell the story of the life of the legendary novelist. Cheer from Chawton highlights Austen's contributions to the world of literature, her relationship with her family and her adventures as a "flirtatious butterfly" in rural England.
Recently, Ms. Eterovich returned to the Jane Austen Festival in Bath, England, where she performed Cheer from Chawton as the Finale for the Festival's 10th Anniversary. The spring/summer of 2011 was intensely busy with performances at Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA, the Episcopal Actor's Guild in New York City, South Carolina Repertory Company in Hilton Head and the 4th Annual Jane Austen Festival in Louisville, KY. Karen has performed her play at the Players Club in New York City and at the 2006 Jane Austen Festival in Bath, where Sue Hughes, editor of Regency World Magazine, proclaimed it "the hit of the festival" on BBC Radio Scotland. In Jane Austen's Regency World Magazine, Ms Hughes also said: "The play's premise is an ingenious one." "It was difficult to see when the applause was going to end…" and she called the performance "Exciting and exuberant..."
Because of Cheer from Chawton and her other play, Love Arm'd, Aphra Behn & Her Pen, Ms. Eterovich has been in constant demand as both a performer and lecturer on the regional theatre and college circuit. Eterovich created the piece after performing in a play about Jane Austen. She found herself fascinated by the writer, Austen's family and her life. Cynthia Kane, Writer, Documentary Producer and Consultant at the Sundance Channel commenting on the play said, "Karen's performance as Jane Austen was sublime...! Very exciting! I went home and dug out my complete anthology of Jane Austen to reread after spending an evening in her lovely, witty company!"
Praise for the play and Ms. Eterovich has been enthusiastic and unanimous. Dr. Amy Smith of the University of the Pacific in Stocton, CA has described Cheer from Chawton: "The 'home theatrical' conception is the perfect way for Karen Eterovich to frame her lively performance and entertaining script. This play gives the audience a wonderful (and interactive!) overview of the best of Austen's works-from familiar, beloved dialogue from Pride and Prejudice to hilarious selections from the juvenilia and touching portions from her personal letters, as well. Her multiple, well-distinguished characterizations make this show truly engaging."
Jane Austen is considered one of our greatest writers in English; of such superior quickness of wit and intuition that nearly two centuries after her death, she has never been surpassed.