Coming Soon: Jane Eyre
Reported by Ana Imes
Have you gone to see “Jane Eyre” yet? Have you seen it but want to go see it again? The winter musical is showing from Feb. 7-9 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 10 at 2 p.m. in Wood-Mar Auditorium. This Thursday’s performance is free to George Fox University (GFU) students. “Jane Eyre” is a musical adaptation by Paul Gordon and John Caird based on Charlotte Bronte’s novel of the same name.
Directed by Rhett Luedtke with musical direction by Maggie Daane, “Jane Eyre” is a Victorian-era gothic romance featuring over 35 musical numbers. The show stars Hope Bellinger as Jane, an orphaned girl who suffers mistreatment at home and school throughout her childhood. She eventually becomes the governess of Thornfield Hall, where she works for a despondent man named Mr. Rochester (played by Brent Townley).
The story of Jane Eyre “isn’t all sunshine and roses,” Bellinger said. Her favorite scene is near the end, “after Jane has hit her lowest point. She's alone, weak, and facing the woman who abused her as a child. Her abuser, Mrs. Reed, is on her deathbed and is just as alone as Jane is. But rather than channeling her pain towards the woman who started it all…. she forgives Mrs. Reed…. and encourages [her] to forgive herself.
“The scene is simple, sad and beautiful, and is quite honestly a much more reassuring picture of making peace with the past,” Bellinger said.
Bellinger’s favorite part of being involved with Jane Eyre has been the relationships she has formed with the cast and crew. “Jane goes into a lot of dark places, but I've been surrounded by people who hold my vulnerability well and have supported me constantly from day one,” Bellinger said. “I quite simply adore them all and am so thankful for every moment I've had with them—good and bad.”
Bellinger is inspired by the way her character “sees the beauty in people, even the ones who have hurt her deeply.” The story of Jane Eyre is a reminder that “a life of deep love and forgiveness is incredibly difficult and often painful.” She wants the audience to remember “there's a community in loving, and that love doesn't have to be comfortable. Sometimes love is letting go and sometimes love is holding on.”