By Emily Day
For Greene County News
CEDARVILLE — “Jane Eyre,” adapted by Christina Colvit, is coming to Cedarville University’s stage opened Sept. 29. Charlotte Bronte’s classic story of mystery and romance follows the life of the orphan Jane Eyre who must stand up for her faith despite her scarring past and the seemingly insurmountable societal expectations of 19th century England.
Stage manager Katie Gilbert said they choose “Jane Eyre” because they really wanted to move away from the more traditional romance stories where a woman strives to find a husband.
“We really wanted to bring to the Cedarville stage [a story] that the end goal wasn’t the woman needs a husband,” Gilbert said. “I mean that’s a beautiful thing and what a lot of women want but we wanted a story where the woman had all that, but doesn’t really need it to have a fulfilled life.”
Senior Alana Perry, playing Jane Eyre, said what she loves most about this story is that Jane is a much more grounded character who values compassion and forgiveness than her desire for love.
“It is a romantic story,” Perry said. “But that’s totally not the focus or at least not for me. It’s way more about the shaping of the individual. It’s way more about her coming to understand herself and her religion, her faith before entering into a romantic relationship. She really has to come to terms with her identity and where she fits into the world and God’s plan.”
Since “Jane Eyre” is a well-known gothic classic, Gilbert said they had to get creative when trying to put Cedarville’s unique spin on the story. She turned to her lights director, Senior Megan Howell, to enhance the visual aspects of the story.
“When we talked about the concept of the show, you picture dark grey, dark brown, blues and greens,” Gilbert said. “We wanted the contrast to be really shocking.”
Gilbert and Howell have worked tiredlessly perfecting the lighting and special effects for the show. Gilbert said she wanted to ensure that they were telling a great visual story to match with the powerful dialogue. Perry commented that both the visual elements and dialogue come together to create a great story that everyone can enjoy.
“The lighting and special effects are going to be superb,” Perry said. “Combining that with an awesome story is going to make super visually interesting. Even for people who think ‘I’m not following the dialogue very well’ it will still be super cool.”
“Jane Eyre” will run from now through Oct. 9. Tickets can be purchased at the SCC information desk by calling 937-766-7787 or by going online to cedarville.edu/ticketinfo.
Emily Day is an intern and freelance writer for Greene County News.