Leading Ladies Bring New Playhouse Production

Leading Ladies Bring New Playhouse Production

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A group of 161 theater enthusiasts are making an exciting new production possible at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Read on for all the dramatic details.


The cast of JANE EYRE. Photo by Mikki Schaffner.

There’s a new production at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and it’s made possible by an important group of Leading Ladies.

On March 11, the production began, combining Victorian-era costumes and romance with inventive staging. The story is based on Charlotte Brontë’s timeless coming-of-age tale, considered one of the most widely read novels in the English language

Adapted by British playwright Polly Teale, the play distills the book to the most essential moments and dramatic action, bringing new creativity and vitality to the classic story. Cincinnati Playhouse Associate Artist and Director KJ Sanchez envisioned music, movement and choreography to transport Jane Eyre’s story to the stage.

“Because the adaptation is so strong, we – the design team, the actors and me – are bringing our own artistry to it,” Sanchez explains. “The actors play musical instruments. I’m working with a great choreographer, Peter Kyle, who I have worked with and admired for years. And I’m thrilled that we have one of the best sound designers in theatre today, Jane Shaw, writing original music for this production.”

Published in 1847, JANE EYRE is a rare classic that moves through time and continues to capture audiences. Poor and plain but with a fiery spirit, Jane overcomes a troubled childhood to land a position as a governess at a mysterious estate, where she falls for the enigmatic master and finds her love returned. When the past threatens her newfound happiness, Jane decides to forge her own path, which enables her to be true to herself and follow her heart. The unconventional heroine, played by Margaret Ivey, will cast a spell on fans of the classic novel and on newcomers drawn to her story.

Beyond the beauty, costumes, artistry, choreography and music lies a story with a message that resonates today, and to which Sanchez relates personally.

“I read this book when I was 13 and it honestly changed my life,” Sanchez explains. ”Jane Eyre was a heroine altogether different from any I had encountered. She was smart and strong and not afraid to speak her mind. She was most comfortable in nature, least comfortable when required to be charming. In fact, she’s reviled, punished and mistreated because she is ‘plain’ — yet Jane is essentially downright beautiful but hated because her beauty is unique and doesn’t fit what is expected by social norms.”

JANE EYRE is sponsored by Leading Ladies, a group of 161 theater enthusiasts who collectively supported the production with financial gifts while learning about theatre through behind-the-scenes experiences throughout the season.

Prices for JANE EYRE start at $35; they vary depending on seat location and performance day and are subject to change. Tickets for teens and students are $30. Student tickets are just $15 on the day of the show. Plus, Sunday is College Night, with tickets to all 7:00 p.m. performances are $10. To learn more, visit www.cincyplay.com.