Acting Distance Learning Production

Theatrefolk Featured Play – Jane Austen, Completely Zoomed by Treanor Baring

Jane Austen, Completely Zoomed
Written by Lindsay Price

Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight. Jane Austen, Completely Zoomed by Treanor Baring s a fast-paced, witty modern take on Austen’s six classic masterpieces.

Suitable for online presentation, adaptable for in-person performances, this is not your great-great-great-great grandmother’s Jane Austen.

Choose to perform the canon in its entirety for a total of one hour, or select among the novels for shorter or competition-length performances.

Middle and high school players will delight in bringing to life these relatable homework-less romps through Jane Austen’s beloved novels.

Why did we publish this play?
We were so delighted to receive this collection – Jane Austen adapted with a wonderful tongue in cheek tone and specifically for virtual performances. This collection covers so many bases from classical literature, to tech suggestions for your tech crew (there’s lots for your costume and sound design students), to the acting style of the shows. It’s a win across the board.

Let’s hear from the author!

1. Why did you write this play?
I’ve always liked Jane Austen. I wanted to give theatre students something really fun and funny to perform. They aren’t stuffy, musty novels to me. They’re witty and wickedly comic. Because I wanted to base this adaptation on the books, not the recent film adaptations, it gave me incentive to read them all again. I felt it was important to write a “complete Jane Austen” to give people exposure to some of the lesser known novels. And a wide choice about which ones and how many to perform.

2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
Jane Austen’s classic novels about finding the person you can trust and love forever come to life in a modern way. Really fast, totally fun.

3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
The slides. Besides the dialogue, there are commentary slides that offer a lot of humor. They could even be spoken by an additional character if need be, but they’re an important part of the storytelling comedy.

4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
Feel free to use this in the way that best suits your program. This play is written to be flexible. The performances can be on line, live, in person, on stage, any way circumstances allow. You can pick two plays out and just do those. Or one. Or all five. Go big with period costumes, or keep it simple and have students wear colorful t-shirts. You can treat this like a teleplay and produce it with in class students to show on line. Or if you’re fortunate enough to be in a place where audiences can be live, it can be performed on stage. Of course, it can performed with everyone remote. You can change your mind about how you perform it at any time.

5. Why is this play great for student performers?
Lots of different parts. Lots of humor. Lots of modern references. Lots of character development possible for all the characters, even the smaller parts.

6. Why is this play great for online performances?
Characters look right at the audience or camera and deliver their lines. It’s written with the “third wall” broken in a lot of places. The narrator explains the plot developments, and who is who. It’s all very accessible.


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About the author

Lindsay Price