Historic Rock Ford is pleased to once again present "Emma, The Matchmaker." This one-act play, adapted by Historic Rock Ford Director Sam Slaymaker from the classic novel by Jane Austen, will be presented in the theatrically candlelit rooms of the General Edward Hand Mansion on Nov. 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 16, 17 and 18. Tickets are $20 and are available at www.rockford.yapsody.com. Each performance is approximately one hour, with scenes taking place in each of the four parlors on the main floor and in the central hallway of the ca. 1794 Hand Mansion. The Rock Ford Dancers are planning to participate in this production to enhance period music, dance and festivity. The play was first performed at Rock Ford to sold-out audiences in 2019 and was revived in 2021.This year's production will be directed by Rachel Faust, who has portrayed Emma in previous productions. Faust has recruited a cast of regional actors to play the lead roles and is looking forward to bringing Jane Austen's sparkling humor, wit and rich repartee back to Rock Ford. "While performing on stage is always special, there is something truly magical about bringing an audience into the historic rooms of the Hand Mansion," said Faust. "By doing so, it is almost as if we are able to transport them into the story, back to Regency England." There is a rationale for presenting a play based on the work of Jane Austen at Rock Ford. Although it is, of course, set in England, "Emma" takes place ca. 1800 during Edward Hand's era. Furthermore, Hand came from an Anglo-Irish background and lived in a Georgian country mansion. The life and customs of the English country gentry at the turn of the 19th century would have felt familiar to him and to his family.Because "Emma" is a novel of over 400 pages, Slaymaker realized from the outset that it would only be possible to present a small part of it. "Fortunately, Austen divided 'Emma' into three 'volumes,' a format that allowed us to adapt a section of the novel in a way that still enabled us to tell a complete story," explains Slaymaker. "I decided to focus on the first volume, which tells the story of how Emma chooses to act as a 'matchmaker' between her friend Harriet Smith and Mr. Elton, the village vicar. Things do not turn out at all as Emma intends, she learns some lessons and the stage is set for the rest of the novel. By focusing on Volume One, we are able to provide our guests with a healthy sampling of some of Jane Austen's great dialogue, humor and sharp wit while foreshadowing things that will happen later in the story. We are also able to incorporate some wonderful period music and dancing as part of Emma's efforts to bring Miss Smith and Mr. Elton together." Due to the size of the rooms in the Hand Mansion, performances are limited to 15 guests. Early reservations are encouraged. Please note that this production is not handicapped accessible. Guests will be standing during the performance and following the characters from room to room on the first floor of the mansion.Historic Rock Ford is located at 881 Rockford Road, Lancaster, Pa.To learn more, call 717-392-7223.