Going to Bath was an annual ritual for many of the characters in Jane Austen's books set in Regency England, so it's appropriate that a musical based on one of her most celebrated books will be going there this month as part of an international Jane Austen Festival.
“Sense and Sensibility, the Musical” was created last year by Karen Hamer, owner and creative director of Tin Roof Productions, and her daughter Jessamine Hamer to celebrate the Austen book's 200th anniversary. Hamer resides in Monument and many of the cast members also live in Monument and Colorado Springs.
“As soon as we finished `Sense and Sensibility' I began looking for ways for more people to see it,” Hamer said. “I checked online and saw the festival. I called the festival director and began to set it all up.”
The production company has been planning the trip since December, Hamer said, adding that she has been putting together a traveling cast and tweaking the musical to make some of the parts stronger.
Fundraising for the trip has also been an ongoing project. Most recently, Hamer's son, Eric Hamer, ran a cardboard cutout of Count Paris from the Tin Roof spring production of “Romeo and Juliet” up Pikes Peak for the “Tea at the Top” fundraiser. Eric Hamer, a Palmer Ridge High School athlete, ran Cardboard Paris up the Manitou Incline in August.
“Rehearsals for the musical have been a jigsaw puzzle,” Hamer said. “One of our (traveling) cast members lives in Washington state and another lives in New Zealand. Most of the cast members live here, of course, but we've been rehearsing around each other's parts.”
Actors are paying their own way to England, and Hamer has found lodging space for the crew in a village near Bath.
“It's going to be fun dressing in Regency costume for a week, something every Austen fan lives for,” she said. “We're rehearsing at the Northland Community Church in Monument and recently the cast walked from the church to Limbach Park. It was great fun seeing the ladies in their bonnets and beautiful dresses and the men in their finery.”
The musical will make its international debut Sept. 18-19 in Bath and will be the only musical involved with the festival. Tickets are £12 but getting to Bath is a bit pricier, so Hamer plans to remount the musical for local audiences on Nov. 17-18, probably in Monument.
Anyone interested in supporting the international debut of Hamer's “Sense and Sensibility” can donate at www.tinroof-productions.com. Visit the website for “Sense and Sensibility” music video, and for more information, call Hamer at 719-502-9056.