Story and Photography By Laurie McCall
As someone who’s never read Pride and Prejudice and knew very little about the story line (Since the makeover, I’ve been doing my research. Thank you, SparkNotes!), I can say after spending a little time with these two characters, I am absolutely dying to see the play!
Covering makeovers gives me that behind-the-scenes look into someone’s life. But covering a story about the theater, as it turns out, is a behind-the-scenes look into another world. I am smitten with the actors, their characters, and the play.
I met actors Magan Wiles and Jonathan Holtzman in the parking lot of the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina to take some “before” shots. Magan, who is playing the role of Elizabeth Bennet, and who is so ridiculously cute and tiny you just want to put her in your pocket, arrived dressed in a cold shoulder top that showed off a small tattoo of a bird on her left shoulder, daisy dukes and a pair of a$$ kicker boots with bright pink laces—that’s our girl! With her hair completely natural and hardly any makeup (if any), she was more than willing to strike a pose and admittedly loves the camera.
Jonathan Holtzman, a.k.a. Mr. Darcy, showed up wearing a Duck Dynasty beard that he’d been working on for a couple years, a black T-shirt, jeans and boots. We took pictures with his Jeep and his New York license plate to show off a little hometown pride and his rugged, adventurous personality.
Then it was time for our makeover. Each actor took to a separate dressing room, and I scurried back and forth to take pictures and ask questions. I’m not sure if it was Magan and Jonathan or the spirit of the play, but I found myself wanting to play matchmaker—a sure sign they were the perfect people to play each of their respective roles.
Magan talked as she applied her eye shadow (with her finger—special technique used by women who have no need of makeup), and curled her hair with a curling iron. When asked what she loves about this play, she said, “I just love it. I think it’s so sexy. Back then people had to use their wit and intelligence. All they had were their words.” I can tell from the little time spent with Magan that her full-of-life personality, charm, natural beauty and feisty spirit are quite akin to the character of Elizabeth Bennet. Her biggest physical transformation shows in the up-do and the period clothing, but her greatest challenge will be to turn all her allure to demure.
Jonathan went from Duck Dynasty to Wolverine after shaving that fine full beard into lamb chops that he’ll be sporting around town for the next few weeks. He added just a touch of base where his chin had been hidden from the sun and then changed into costume.
The chemistry between these two is undeniable. Surrounded by cameras, marketing people, the director, and several other Art Center talents, these two had us rolling with laughter. His forthrightness, her quick come backs, wit and charm, subtle smiles and clever improvisation, the tension and excitement carried the room. I couldn’t tell if they were acting or not. All I know is, I can’t wait for opening night!
I asked both Magan and Jonathan (separately) what they loved about performing, and they both gave me similar answers (another sign, might I add). Both love the community that comes together. In a world that is modern and automated, the theater gives you that human connection. Both also love seeing the world through a character’s point of view and the discussions that arise from it. They are forced to dig deep, getting to heart of the characters’ motivation, helping them to understand the “good” and “bad” of humanity.
Pride and Prejudice is an absolute must-see! Don’t miss all the wit and romance of Jane Austen’s most popular novel as it is brought to life in this engaging adaptation by Jon Jory. This talented cast of actors will keep you entertained as you learn about life, love and marriage in British society. The play will be showing from October 4th through October 23rd. For more information visit www.artshhi.com or call 843-842-ARTS (2787) (See ad on pg. 43).