Program for You on the Moors Now (October 28-30, 2021).
Backhaus, Jaclyn, "You on the Moors Now (October 28-30, 2021)" (2021). Student Theatre Programs. 14.
This is a feminist piece. It is also a period piece…but one that takes place during the present day…sort of. At heart it is a look into women’s destiny. Until very recently, a woman’s lot was to marry and raise a family for her husband, and few women had the means or opportunity to stray from that path. This play adapts characters from the early-to-mid 19th century novels, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, and Little Women by Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, Emily Brontë, and Louisa May Alcott, respectively. Little Women was the only novel of the four not published under a pen name. The other three books had to be published under male pseudonyms in order for the books to sell and be read.
The opening line of Pride and Prejudice reads: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” In You On The Moors Now, playwright Jaclyn Backhaus, takes the protagonists of these novels and places them in a world of freedom and opportunity. Though the characters find themselves defying all social customs of the 19th Century, a traditional marriage is still a choice. The playwright argues not that women should reject the traditional path, but that a world of possibilities exists, marriage being just one of many. We see a sisterhood develop among these characters who, initially, have only their shared desire for freedom to bind them. And, maybe, men shouldn’t be bound by these outdated notions of marriage either.
This is a play about the infinite world of possibilities that lies ahead of us if we don’t allow ourselves to be bound by social conventions. And despite the inevitable challenges and setbacks, there is a bright future ahead.