JASNA Florida SW held its second Zoom meeting on May 2, 2020. Sarah Rose Kearns and Laura Rocklyn beautifully read the play “Manydown” authored by Sarah Rose Kearns. Manydown Park was the home of Jane Austen’s friends, the Bigg-Withers. The brother, Harris Bigg-Wither proposed to Jane in 1802. This engrossing play followed Jane and Cassandra’s conversation the evening after the proposal. Jane’s dilemma is that although she accepted the proposal, she does really want to marry him. What made the decision much harder is that she is fond of Harris and is close friends with his sisters.
We were all enchanted and at the edge of our seats, even though we knew the end result of the deliberations.
The reading was followed by a Q & A and a lively discussion by the 18 participants.
Sarah Rose Kearns is a writer, performer, and lifelong Austen enthusiast. She holds a bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Columbia University. Her stage adaptation of Persuasion will debut off Broadway in New York in the autumn, directed by Eric Tucker for his company Bedlam. Rose was recently selected as the 2020 JASNA International Visitor; she will live and work at Chawton during the month of July, Covid-19 permitted, conducting research for another biographical play about the Austen sisters.