Ben Muller as Mr. Knightley and                                                     Heather Chrisler as Emma   Photo: Anthony LaPenna

Ben Muller as Mr. Knightley and Heather Chrisler as Emma
Photo: Anthony LaPenna

Dead Writers Theatre Collective presents “Estimating Lace and Muslin: Dress and Fashion in Jane Austen and her World,” a lecture/demonstration by Jeffrey A. Nigro  May 4 at 1:30 p.m. This special event is available to ticket holders for the 2:30 p.m. performance of Jim Schneider’s staging of the Collectives’ production of “Emma,” at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Seats are limited. For more information visit deadwriters.net.

“Dead Writers Theatre Collective prides itself on presenting theater with premier production values and the highest caliber of period authenticity, says Schneider. “We know theater audiences enjoy gaining insights into theatrical works. Nigro’s presentation will provide audience an inside look into history and cultural nuances that influenced fashion for both men and women in the 19th Century” and give them an appreciation of the unique impact our authentic costumes have on the actors in our production of “Emma.”

Accompanying a slide show presentation, several ‘Emma” cast members will come out on stage as Nigro comments on the relevance of each piece as it pertained to the best dressed men and women of the 19th century. “Austen wrote during a time of dramatic changes in fashions and styles in history” says Nigro. “While she rarely makes references to current fashions in her writing, it plays an important role in Austen’s work, and her letters reveal her to be as style-conscious as any ‘fashion groupie’ today.”

Jeffrey A. Nigro,an art historian, lecturer, educator, frequent lecturer and regional coordinator of the Greater Chicago of Jane Austen Society of North America and dramaturg for Dead Writers Theatre Collective’s production of “Emma,” has extensive knowledge of the roles fashion played during Austen’s era. Nigro received his B.A. at Oberlin College and his M.A. in art history at the University of Virginia. He has been lecturing on the Art Institute’s collections since 1988 and received the Art Institute Chairman’s Award for outstanding service in 2003.

Dead Writers Theatre Collective presents Jim Schneider’s staging of the Chicago premiere of Michael Bloom’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Emma,” at on The Pro mainstage theater at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. April 18-May 25. Press opening is Wednesday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. Seating is general admission. Ticket prices are $40 ($25 for students and seniors). For tickets call the Stage 773 box office at 773-327.5252 or visit deadwriters.net.

Dead Theatre Collective presents “Estimating Lace and Muslin: Dress and Fashion in Jane Austen and her World,” a pre-show lecture/demonstration by Jeffrey A. Nigro, Sunday, May 4 at 1:30 p.m. Admission to this special event is open to ticket holders for the Sunday, May 4 2:30 p.m. matinee performance of “Emma.” For more information visit deadwriters.net.

Dead Writers Theatre Collective seeks to transport audiences into the original world of the play through extensively studied period appropriate settings, props and costumes.  This strict attention to detail and high level of aesthetics is a hallmark of the Collective.

The Collective, under the leadership of Artistic Director Jim Schneider and Managing Director Bob Douglas, is a Chicago-based 501(c)3 non-profit arts collective comprised of directors, designers, actors and playwrights and educators with a mission is to produce works either by or about dead writers. Past productions have included Noel Coward’s “The Vortex,” Adam Pasen “Tea with Eddie &  Fitz,” (winner of the Broadway World Award for Best New Play of 2013) and Oscar Wilde’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan.”

Dead Writers Theatre Collective productions are supported in part by The Pauls Foundation,The Barre Seid and Barbara Landis Foundation and the John R. Halligan Charitable Fund. For more information about Dead Writers Theater Collective visit deadwriters.net or call 773.305.8221.