WTAMU Theatre Department to Present Jane Eyre for Second Week

Callie Shipley, Coordinator for Junior Reporters

The West Texas A&M University Theatre Department will present its musical production of Jane Eyre for the second week on Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. in the Branding Iron Theatre.

“The show is absolutely beautiful,” sophomore Musical Theatre major Maddie Todd, who stars as Jane Eyre, said. “The amount of work that has been put in technically as far as the set and lighting goes is like nothing you have ever seen before. Especially if you have never had the pleasure of seeing a WTAMU theatre production, you are depriving yourself from exceptional art that is free to students.”

Sophomore History major Kayla Kerr said she loved watching the musical and felt that the actors did a “fantastic job” portraying their characters.

“The crew did an amazing job with the set,” Kerr said. “There were so many scene changes, and every part of the set was gorgeous. Jane Eyre was nothing like I thought it would be, with more mystery and plot twists than I would have thought.”

The music and lyrics for the play were written by Paul Gordon, with the book and additional lyrics written by John Caird. The musical is based on the 1847 novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.

“[The novel and the musical] are very different but also similar in the most basic plot lines,” Todd said. “You can still find many quotes directly from the book that are placed in dialogue or in songs. I am a huge fan of the book, and I think it really does it justice with all things considered.”

With more moments of laughter included in the musical as compared to the novel, freshman Psychology major Elizabeth Martin said she enjoyed the balance between intrigue and humor in the play.

“I liked how it had drama and love, but it was also funny,” Martin said. “The actors were amazing, and I was blown away by how well they could sing.”

With Jane seldom leaving the stage and talking or singing for the majority of the play, Todd said the role of Jane has been the most challenging character she has played in the 12 years of her acting career.

“I feel I have come out of this experience a stronger actress, vocalist and person,” Todd said. “I have never been a part of a more rewarding, hard process in my life, and I hope this isn’t the last opportunity I have to do so.”

Todd said the theme of the play is forgiveness and that “everyone can find something” to relate to in Jane’s character.

“Jane is described as a captive bird throughout the musical, and I think that captures Jane perfectly,” Todd said. “You think that she is being hurt again because she’s weak but in reality because she’s strong she has made it past circumstances and is able to take on the next thing life throws at her and still maintain her strong faith in God and humanity.”

Tickets to the musical are free for WT students, faculty and staff and cost $16 for adults and $11 for seniors and non-WT students.


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