Welcome to our Script Side page for Jane Austen’s SENSE and SENSIBILITY.
The audition is Sunday, August 21, 2016 at 7:00 PM from script sides as presented in this post.
There are six script sides for SENSE and SENSIBILITY with a downloadable PDF at the end of each side.
Please Note: Actors auditioning for the role of Elinor should prepare the side with Edward but be prepared to read the other sides where she appears to help others audition.
Actors auditioning for the role of Marianne should prepare the side with Mrs. Henry Dashwood but be prepared to read the other side where she appears to help others audition.
EDWARD & ELINOR Script Side
MRS. HENRY DASHWOOD. Mr. Ferrars, a great pleasure.
EDWARD. The pleasure is mine.
MRS. HENRY DASHWOOD. My daughter Margaret…
ELINOR. In the tree house, Mother.
EDWARD. A tree house? Well. Indeed. I should like to see that.
ELINOR. She is wonderfully intrigued with it.
EDWARD. As would I be.
ELINOR. Had you such a thing when young, Mr. Ferrars?
EDWARD. No. No I didn’t.
(A slightly awkward pause.)
MRS. HENRY DASHWOOD. Elinor, perhaps you would show Mr. Ferrars?
ELINOR. (Suppressing a smile:) It is not mandatory, sir.
EDWARD. I should like it above all things.
ELINOR. I owe you many thanks for your kindness to Margaret during your stay.
EDWARD. A pleasure really, I sometimes think myself best with very young people.
ELINOR. You do well with all Edward. In your weeks here you have quite charmed our family, young and not so.
EDWARD. I am ordinarily praised as unobtrusive. The word ‘diffident’ I have heard applied. My mother longs to see me distinguished, to send me to Parliament: I believe I would prefer the tree house.
ELINOR. (Laughing:) And if not the tree house?
EDWARD. I have always preferred the church, but that was never smart enough for my mother.
ELINOR. Your wishes, I think, are moderate.
EDWARD. I wish, much as everyone else to be perfectly happy. Greatness will not make me so. Fortunately for my mother, my younger brother Robert is more promising. I have not a turn for a great man.
(A pause. Changing the subject:)
The gardens here, I think, are well arranged.
EDWARD. Both the North and South.
ELINOR. Well arranged, yes.
EDWARD. Good drainage, I think.
ELINOR. Drainage would be of great importance.
EDWARD. My conversation is quite disastrous, is it not?
ELINOR. (Smiling:) I enjoy our conversations, Edward.
ELINOR. Each one.
EDWARD. I have not knowledge in the picturesque and I shall offend you by my ignorance and want of taste if we come to particulars. I shall call hills steep, which ought to be bold; surfaces strange and uncouth, which out to be rugged; and distant objects, out of sight, which ought only to be indistinct through the soft medium of a hazy atmosphere.
ELINOR. Your conversation is far better than picturesque, it is surprising, which I prefer.
MARIANNE, ELINOR & WILLOUGHBY Script Side
(ELINOR and her mother join WILLOUGHBY and MARIANNE.)
WILLOUGHBY. (We catch him mid-conversation:) Brandon, you see, is that kind of man whom everybody speaks well of and nobody cares about; whom all are delighted to see, and nobody remember to talk to.
MARIANNE. That is exactly what I think of him!
ELINOR. Do not boast of it sister, for it is injustice in both of you.
WILLOUGHBY. That he is patronized by you is certainly in his favor, but I would think it your kindness more than interest. Being approved by Lady Middleton and Mrs. Jennings? That would be censure to anyone else.
ELINOR. If their praise be censure, your censure may be praise, for they are not more undiscerning, than you are prejudiced and unjust.
MARIANNE. Dear Elinor, in defense of your protégé you can even be saucy!
ELINOR. My protégé as you call him, is a sensible man; and sense will always have attractions for me. Yes, Marianne, even in a man between thirty and forty. He has seen a great deal of the world, has read and has a thinking mind. He has always answered my enquiries with the readiness of good breeding and good nature.
MARIANNE. That is to say, he has told you, that in the East Indies the climate is hot, and the mosquitoes troublesome.
WILLOUGHBY. Perhaps his observations may have extended to the existence of nabobs, whatchamacallits, and palanquins.
ELINOR. I venture to say his observations have stretched much further than your candor. But why should you dislike him?
WILLOUGHBY. I do not dislike him. I consider him, on the contrary, as a very respectable man, who has everybody’s good word, more money than he can spend, more time than he knows how to employ, and two new coats every year.
MARIANNE. But neither genius, taste, or spirit. His understanding has no brilliancy, his feelings no ardor, and his voice no passion.
ELINOR. You decide on his imperfections in the mass but not specifically. I can only pronounce him a sensible man.
WILLOUGHBY. Miss Dashwood! You endeavor to disarm me by reason, but it will not do. I have three unanswerable reasons for disliking Colonel Brandon.
WILLOUGHBY. He has threatened me with rain when I wished good weather.
WILLOUGHBY. He finds fault with my carriage.
MARIANNE. And the last?
WILLOUGHBY. And I cannot persuade him to buy my brown mare. Though indeed in other respects his character is irreproachable you cannot deny me the privilege of disliking him as much as ever!
LUCY & ELINOR
LUCY. What a sweet woman Mrs. Jennings is.
ELINOR. She has been more than kind to our family.
LUCY. And how do you like Devonshire, Miss Dashwood? I am told you were very sorry to leave Sussex.
ELINOR. Indeed my family had been established there some time.
LUCY. And had you a great many smart beaux there? There are not, I suppose, too many in this part of the world. I only mention of it as I hope you will not find it dull in Barton.
ELINOR. I am sure there are genteel young men in Devonshire.
LUCY. I hope I do not offend?
ELINOR. On the contrary, you are very pleasant and conversable.
LUCY. You are very kind and I like you enormously. You will think my question now an odd one, I dare say, but pray, are you personally acquainted with your sister-in-law’s mother, Mrs. Ferrars?
ELINOR. (Greatly surprised:) I have never seen Mrs. Ferrars.
LUCY. I am sure you think me very strange to be inquiring about her in such a way, but perhaps…there might be reasons. I should be very glad of your advice how to manage in such an uncomfortable situation as I am in.
ELINOR. And I am sorry I cannot assist. But really I never understood that you were at all connected with that family.
LUCY. (After a moment:) I am sure I need not have the smallest fear in trusting you even on slight acquaintance, I am, dear Miss Dashwood, so without a confidante. Mrs. Ferrars is certainly nothing to me at present but the time may come…when we will be very intimately connected.
ELINOR. Do you mean you are acquainted with Mr. Robert Ferrars, the brother? Can you be?
LUCY. No, not Mr. Robert Ferrars, I never saw him in my life; but to his elder brother Edward.
ELINOR. I am…surprised.
LUCY. I dare say you are, for it was always meant to be a great secret kept so by me to this hour.
ELINOR. (Cautiously:) You are engaged then?
LUCY. Four years. Our acquaintance however is of many years date. He was four years with my uncle as a pupil. It was there our engagement was formed, though not ‘til he had quitted as a student. I was very unwilling to enter into it without the approbation of his mother, but I loved him too well to be so prudent as I ought to have been.
ELINOR. Engaged to Mr. Edward Ferrars! I confess myself so totally surprised, that really…surely there must be some mistake of person or name. We cannot mean the same Edward Ferrars.
LUCY. The very same! Our first care has been to keep the matter secret.
ELINOR. (A firm voice:) Four years you have been engaged.
LUCY. Yes, and heaven knows how long we may have to wait. Poor Edward! It puts him quite out of heart. I have only…
(Fishes out a small picture:)
This dear miniature of his dear face.
(She hands it to ELINOR.)
I am sure of your faithfully keeping this secret for it must not reach his mother; she will oppose us, I fear, for I have no fortune.
ELINOR. Your situation is indeed a perilous one.
LUCY. We hardly meet above twice a year, Miss Dashwood. I am sure I wonder my heart is not quite broke. Sometimes I think to break the matter off entirely but I have no the resolution for it. What would you advise me to do in such a case?
ELINOR. Pardon me, but I can give you no advice under such circumstances. It is too much for an indifferent person.
LUCY. (Piqued:) ‘Tis because you are an indifferent person that I ask you. (Regarding her:) If you could be biased in any respect by your own feelings, your opinions would not be worth having.
ELINOR. Your own judgement must direct you.
LUCY. (Disappointed:) To be sure.
(Taking out a letter.)
Poor fellow, he writes in such wretched spirits. I did give him a lock of my hair set in a ring when he was at Longstaple last. Perhaps you have noticed the ring when you saw him.
ELINOR. (Concealing her distress:) I did.
SIR JOHN & LADY MIDDLETON & MRS. JENNINGS
(SIR JOHN MIDDLETON enters. His manner is expansive.)
SIR JOHN MIDDLETON. Ah, there we are. Had to see the horses. Barton Cottage, eh? Neat as a pin. Comfortable as an old well-loved chair by the fire. Tiled roof. Sitting rooms sixteen feet on each side of the entrance. Kitchen and pantry to the back. All in the best of repair! Four bedrooms and two garrets. And…and…wonderful views, eh? Village of Barton over there in the valley. All nicely situated.
MRS. HENRY DASHWOOD. Quite to our taste, Sir John. We are in your debt for your offer.
SIR JOHN MIDDLETON. All possible of alterations, eh? Think of it, once your things are about you, nicely arranged to your satisfaction what pleasure it will be! As to the day in hand, Lady Middleton… (To the girls:) who you will greatly admire, insists on you dinging with us this evening at Barton Park, not a half mile distant. (To MRS. HENRY DASHWOOD) She will put you quite straight about arranging the cottage.
ELINOR. Perhaps, this evening…
SIR JOHN MIDDLETON. (His jolly, energetic self:) You shall join us without another word! Come along, come along, I have kept the carriages at the bottom of the path.
(The characters start out, and regroup. Chairs are brought. LADY MIDDLETON and her mother, MRS. JENNINGS, join the group. We are now at Barton Park, the Middletons’ residence.)
SIR JOHN MIDDLETON. Welcome all to Barton Park! Let me see, let me see. You have met Lady Middleton at the steps. Here is the honorable Mrs. Jennings, her mother.
MRS. JENNINGS. Delighted. A fine thing indeed! Dear, dear, dear, you have three daughters?
SIR JOHN MIDDLETON. Missing the littlest one.
(COLONEL BRANDON enters.)
MRS. JENNINGS. Well, I hope you have not left your heart in Sussex, for I shall have you all married by Michaelmas.
SIR JOHN MIDDLETON. Colonel Brandon…
(COLONEL BRANDON bows.)
My particular friend and the best shot in Devonshire. Colonel, you see before you the family Dashwood.
COLONEL BRANDON. Delighted.
SIR JOHN MIDDLETON. (Teasing:) Take note of the daughters, Colonel. (Looks about.) Where has your youngest got to, Mrs. Dashwood?
MRS. HENRY DASHWOOD. Viewing of your horses if you don’t mind Sir John.
SIR JOHN MIDDLETON. Not at all dear lady. I have often preferred horses to their masters. Now then, now then, we are all met and our evening before us.
LADY MIDDLETON. (Formally:) I believe you will find the air excellent to the complexion.
MRS. JENNINGS. The air! Yes… Oh, I am very pleased to meet you indeed. You provide the neighborhood with new life and interest. I have lived to see two daughters respectably married and therefore I’ve nothing to do but marry the rest of the world. I’ll begin with you Colonel Brandon, as you have situated yourself with great care near Miss Marianne, I believe it is your responsibility to show her the gardens. Go on, go on, we can spare you.
MRS. JENNINGS. There, you see, well begun.
LADY MIDDLETON. What is well begun?
MRS. JENNINGS. It would be an excellent match, for he is rich and she is handsome.
LADY MIDDLETON. Is she?
MRS. JENNINGS. Oh you! Come Sir John, until we are called to table let us play a round of cards.
MARIANNE & MRS. HENRY DASHWOOD
MRS. HENRY DASHWOOD. There is, as I am sure you have noticed, Marianne, an excellent reason for some little delay.
MARIANNE. The growing attachment between Elinor and Edward Ferrars is what you mean.
MRS. HENRY DASHWOOD. I comprehend his merits and feel quite assured of his worth. His heart is warm and his temper affectionate.
MARIANNE. And you can tell, beyond doubt, that Elinor is drawn to him?
MRS. HENRY DASHWOOD. He is amiable, well mannered, and the eldest son of a man who died very rich.
MARIANNE. Must wealth always be mentioned? Is he not…uninteresting?
MRS. HENRY DASHWOOD. Think clearly, Marianne. Elinor cannot live on her ‘interests.’ In a few months she will, in all possibility, be settled for life.
MARIANNE. But how will we do without her?
MRS. HENRY DASHWOOD. My love, it will scarcely be a separation. We shall live within a few miles of each other, and you will gain a brother, a real, affectionate brother.
MARIANNE. But there is something wanting. He wants all that spirit, that fire which at once announces virtue and intelligence. And besides all this, I am afraid Mamma, he has no real taste. Music seems scarcely to attract him; and though he admires Elinor’s drawings very much, it is not the admiration of a person who can understand their worth. He admires as a lover and not as a connoisseur.
MRS. HENRY DASHWOOD. To be a connoisseur is not necessary to marriage.
MARIANNE. Elinor has not my feelings, and, therefore, she may overlook it and be happy with him but it would break my heart. Mamma, the more I know of the world the more convinced I am that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!
MRS. HENRY DASHWOOD. You are not yet nineteen, Marianne. It is yet too early in life to despair of such a happiness.
BRANDON & ELINOR
ELINOR. You are thoughtful Colonel Brandon.
COLONEL BRANDON. Your sister, I understand, does not approve of second attachments.
ELINOR. (Who has come to enjoy and empathize with the Colonel:) No, her opinions are all romantic.
COLONEL BRANDON. Thus she believes such attachments impossible to exist.
ELINOR. I believe she does. But how she contrives it without reflecting on the character of her own father who had two wives, I know not. A few years will settle her opinions on the reasonable basis of common sense and observations.
COLONEL BRANDON. Most probably, and yet there is something so amiable in the prejudices of a young mind.
ELINOR. I cannot agree with you there. There are inconveniences attending such feelings as Marianne’s, which all the charms of enthusiasm and ignorance of the world cannot atone for. Her systems have all the unfortunate tendency of setting propriety at naught.
COLONEL BRANDON. Are those who have been disappointed in their first choice, whether from the inconstancy of its object or the perverseness of circumstances, to remain indifferent the rest of their lives?
ELINOR. Her principles in such matters, can only be defined and justified by herself.
COLONEL BRANDON. You will, I hope, be frank with me Miss Dashwood.
ELINOR. (Looking directly at him:) I have never yet heard her admit any instance of a second attachment being pardonable.
COLONEL BRANDON. (A pause.) Such ideas cannot hold, and yet when the romantic refinements of a young mind are obliged to give way, how frequently are they succeeded by such opinions as are too dangerous! I speak from experience. I once knew a young woman who thought and judged like her, but who from an enforced change—from a series of unfortunate circumstances…
I see it is late. I have overstayed my welcome. Good night Miss Dashwood.
ELINOR. Good night.
For Further Information Please Contact:
Director, Joan Bryans at firstname.lastname@example.org