News Release

Southern Virginia University Theatre Presents Concert Musical Performance of “Mansfield Park”

Southern Virginia University Theatre presents the classic Jane Austen story of “Mansfield Park” with an original script by Professor of Theatre Robert Stoddard and his daughter, Leigh Stoddard. In a unique twist, the musical will be performed as a concert musical for the first time in University history exclusively on March 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center.

“We were really drawn to “Mansfield Park” because of the leading character, Fanny Price, and how she sticks to her values no matter what is going on around her,” said Stoddard. “My daughter, Leigh, and I wrote this musical. I wrote the lyrics and music, and we both wrote the script, and it was first performed here at Southern Virginia in 2015. For this performance we’ve rewritten it to be a concert musical, and this is the first time in our theatre’s history that we’ve done a concert musical.”

Considered by American literary critic and philosopher Joel Weinsheimer to be Austen’s most profound novel, “Mansfield Park” follows the story of Fanny Price, who was sent from her impoverished home to live with her rich aunt and uncle when she was young in the hopes of marrying her into a wealthy family. When her relatives determine it is time for her to marry, Fanny must learn to choose between the wishes of her heart and the wishes of her family as she pursues love.

In concert musical style, “Mansfield Park” will be performed with a minimal set and costumes. Featuring a cast of 19 student actors, Robert Stoddard will direct the play, with Assistant Professor of Theatre Amaree Cluff designing the costumes, and Preston Rodriguez (’22) designing the set.

“Mansfield Park” will be performed only on March 1. While the performance is free, reserving tickets is required and can be found on Eventbrite. Concessions will also be available for purchase.