Act One

 

The tale of Jane Eyre has been told many times, but we have felt that each one has missed something of the great potential of this story. We believe that our version, told on stage with words and music, will embody all the elements that Charlotte Bront´┐Ż herself would like to see.

Jane's odyssey of struggle, separation and self-discovery begins here at the age of ten with her mistreatment in the home of her relatives, whom she soon leaves for similar treatment at Lowood School. At Lowood, however, she finds hope and friendship with Helen, an outcast student who gives Jane a larger picture of the universe. This relationship is lost, however, with Helen's death.

After eight years, Jane decides it is time to see where God would send her, and she begins a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. Here, Jane forms new friendships with the housekeeper, Mrs. Fairfax, and Jane's French pupil, Adele, but she also finds mysteries to puzzle her and an arrogant, brooding master in Edward Rochester. Jane learns something of Rochester's unhappiness in conversation with him, and their relationship deepens when she saves his life after a mysterious arsonist sets fire to his bed. Rochester's tenderness towards Jane at this time leads her to discover her heart and allow herself feelings of love for him.

Disappointment comes again for Jane when Rochester brings his wealthy friends home for a party and pays particular attention to the beautiful Blanche Ingram.