Jane Austen Speaks

Debra Ann Miller as Jane Austen
Invite Jane Austen to speak at your school assembly, museum, library, or Jane Austen themed special event.  Available as a 30 to 60 minute performance, let Jane Austen speak to you about her life, loves and family.  Drawing from Jane Austen's letters, novels and Juvenilia, Jane speaks to you from Chawton Cottage in the autumn of 1815.  Her first three novels, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park  have been published, and Emma is complete. 

Actress Debra Ann Miller portrays Jane Austen in the most vibrant and hopeful time of her life. 

Debra Ann Miller has been an actress, and voice over talent for over 25 years.  She has toured the country with Child's Play Touring Theatre, Artreach, and the Reading is Fundamental program, as well as working in Chicago theatres including The Organic, Royal George, Noble Fool and Victory Gardens.  In 2004, Debra won the Best Actress award at the Chicago Indie Fest for her first film Zen Noir .
In addition to portraying Jane Austen, Debra is currently touring the country in
With Lincoln Production's 'Visiting  the Lincolns' and Mrs. Lincoln's Salon , as Mary Todd Lincoln,  as
Louisa May Alcott in Noble Discontent.

Habit and Hope: Dolley Madison , and Elizabeth Barrett Browning: The Story of the Sonnets
Debra has
been working as an historical impersonator for the last 18 years.
Contact Debra Ann Miller at janeaustenspeaks@gmail.com

Jane Austen Speaks

Ideal for School or Library Assembly

Invite Jane Austen to "pay a call" to your organization or school. The author delights students with stories about the people and events that influenced her life. Through engaging conversation with her "hosts" and quotes from her letters, juvenilia, and novels, Jane Austen speaks about her childhood in Steventon, her brothers and beloved sister Cassandra and her writing. By the end of the presentation, the audience will know more about  Miss Jane Austen the woman, as well as the author. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions both during and after the performance, so encourage students to come prepared.

This educational program is suitable for grades 4 and up.
(30 minute running time) Question & Answer follows. Study guides available

Upcoming events

May 14 - Winnetka Public Library
Jane Austen Speaks
Winnetka, IL

Winnetka Library Event Page

May 16th - Road Scholar
The World of Jane Austen and the Regency Period
Geneva, WI
Event Registration

May 17th - Private Party

June 12 - Morton Grove Public Library
Jane Austen Speaks
Morton Grove, IL
Library Website

September 13- Vernon Area Public Library
Jane Austen Speaks
Vernon Hills, IL
Library Events Calendar

September 29 - Lawrence Public Library
Jane Austen Speaks
Lawrenceville, IL
Library Website

What people are saying…

Debra Ann Miller as
                        Jane Austen
  Author Jane Austen portrayed at Hampshire Library
Chicago Tribune

November 9, 2015   Austen was born in Steventon Rectory, Hampshire, England, in 1775. She was the seventh child of a country clergyman. She wrote six books: "Sense and Sensibility," "Pride and Prejudice," "Mansfield Park," "Emma," "Persuasion" and "Northanger Abbey."

"Jane was such a wonderful writer with a wry sense of humor," Miller said. "There are so many exciting women who have played a part in forming who we are now. To delve into their lives is like opening a jewelry box."

Debra Miller takes library programming to new heights with her extensive research and highly professional performance of Jane Austen.  Like a good Shakespearean actor, one that brings transparency and understanding to archaic forms of the English language, Ms. Miller’s nuanced vocal inflections and spare gestures bring the character to life in a way that truly inspires her audience.  One would think she was born for the part.  If you are looking for an author impersonator as a group program for your book discussion groups, as a Friends of the Library program, or just a random stellar program because YOU like Jane Austen, book this actress ASAP.
Eve G. Kirk, Director
Cherry Valley Public Library District

“I didn't have enough time to rave to you about how wonderful you were, and that goes for the script as well as the performance, both of which were superb.”

Jeff Nigro
Area Coordinator for the Greater Chicago Chapter of JASNA

“You are now my Jane.
 Everyone I spoke to agreed that you were the highlight of the day.  And yes, you not only delight, but you educate.”
Dr. Elisabeth Lenckos
Director of Programs for the Jane Austen Society of North America Greater Chicago Region and a Chawton House Library Research Fellow 2009-2010.
 “I just wanted to let you know once again how blown away I was by your performance.  You were super as Jane!  Not only was your acting fantastic (you were Jane Austen), but you did a stupendous job with your script.  Thank you for a wonderful experience.”
Patricia Wieber
Debra Ann Miller as Jane Austen

Just Jane
45-60 minute one woman performance

Call upon Jane Austen in the autumn of 1815 at her home, Chawton Cottage. Her first three novels, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and Mansfield Park are published, and Emma is complete.  Jane visits with you at this, the most vibrant and hopeful time of her life.  Drawing from her letters, juvenilia, and novels, this one hour performance delves deeper into the personal life of one of the most beloved and intriguing novelists of the 19th century.  Learn about her exotic cousin Eliza ,her mentor and friend Madame LeFroy and the loves and losses that shaped her life and informed her perception of the world.  Suitable for both the casual reader of her novels and the most devoted "Janeite", Just Jane can be tailored to fit your time constraints and is appropriate for meetings, fundraisers and Teas.

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Celebrate the anniversary of the release of

Sense and Sensibility
                        Like Jane Austen Day