My new comedy JANE AUSTEN IN 48 MINUTES by Syrie James




(UPDATED December 23, 2023)

I’ve had a wonderful time this year presenting and performing in four staged readings of my new original comedy JANE AUSTEN IN 48 MINUTES with three different casts.

The play features a cheeky and wise Jane Austen as narrator and a cast of costumed actors who play 47 roles and deliver all six of Jane Austen’s novels at a lightning pace. Hilarity ensues, with modern day commentary here and there for fun and a lot of fast entrances and exits and accessory changes.



I’m thrilled to say the play was nominated as Best Special Event for the 2023 Broadway World L.A. Awards for its world premiere staged reading last April at Little Fish Theatre in San Pedro, California. The sold out performance was directed by Kathryn Farren and I was privileged to perform with a talented cast of professional actors.


My cast at Little Fish Theatre in April: (back row, left to right) Branda Lock, Brendan Kane, Jackie Misaye, Ryan Knight, Patrick Vest; (front row) Syrie James, Kathryn Farren.



The fun was only beginning! I directed and produced JANE AUSTEN IN 48 MINUTES at the JASNA AGM in Colorado on November 4, where I played Jane Austen along with a cast of JASNA luminaries (many of whom were plenary and breakout speakers at the conference). It was a hit with 450 enthusiastic attendees and received a standing ovation.

My cast at the JASNA AGM 2023. Left to right: Janet Todd, Diana Birchall, James Nagle, Devoney Looser, Syrie James,  Paul Savidge, Francine Mathews (AKA author Stephanie Barron), and Paul Birchall.


In early December, I presented two additional staged readings of JANE AUSTEN IN 48 MINUTES in Los Angeles with another talented troupe of professional actors, at the JASNA-SW luncheon meeting at the UCLA Faculty Club and at Kentwood Players (Westchester Playhouse) as part of their Sunday Reading Series.


The cast from my December shows: (back row, left to right) Brendan Kane, Shirley Hatton, Ben Campbell, Branda Lock, Don Schlossman; (front row, left to right) Kathryn Farren, Syrie James, Melissa Booey.


Backstage fun in the dressing room.

Cast bows.

A gag cast photo we took just for fun.


I’m grateful to everyone who attended our shows and let us know how much they enjoyed them. A huge thank you to all those who helped behind the scenes–you know who you are–and to my three incredibly gifted casts who so generously donated their time.
These staged readings were a great testing ground for my new play. It was so well-received that in addition to writing books, I’ve written an expanded full-length version of the play that I hope will eventually be given a full run, published, and made available to theatre companies everywhere. That’s the dream!
All reactions:

Yvonne Yao, Ryan James and 40 others



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  1. Rebekah on February 2, 2024 at 4:59 pm

    I’d love to see your play performed! Is there a way to see where it will be showing?

    • Syrie James on February 21, 2024 at 12:43 am

      Hi Rebekah! Thanks so much for asking about my play. We did 4 staged readings of “Jane Austen in 48 Minutes” in 2023, and now I’m hoping to find for a theater to do a full production of the expanded version, “Jane Austen in 90 Minutes.” It’s quite a challenge to get a new work on its feet, so fingers crossed! Please follow my blog and subscribe to my newsletter, because I’ll make announcement when and if it happens. Until then, all the best, and please stay in touch.

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