OTTUMWA — How is a poor orphan girl, abused by her guardian and haunted by spirits, supposed to find her way through the moors of England to an adulthood that includes contentment and love? Find out when Indian Hills Community College presents “Jane Eyre” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1-3 in St. John Auditorium.
Performances are free to the public, and patrons are encouraged to reserve their tickets ahead of time by calling 641-683-5145.
“The brooding Gothic romance, based on the 1847 novel by Charlotte Bronte, offers humor and warmth in this coming-of-age story about a young girl who navigates life without the help of family or friends and who ultimately learns to be compassionate and resilient against all odds,” said Dr. Jennifer Terry Boyenga says, director.
The play begins with Jane, played by Blair Holohan of Ottumwa, revisiting the ruins of Thornfield Hall years later to tell the fascinating story of her life. As she recounts her experiences, her youthful self appears, played by Kaya Baca of Ottumwa, and reenacts scenes from her childhood at the hands of her wicked aunt, played by Faith Zanoni of Albia, and her cousins, John Reed, played by Brent Williams of Ottumwa, Georgiana Reed, played by Britney Cosper of Carlisle, and Eliza Reed, played by Katelin Valentine of Ottumwa. The only bright spot in her childhood is the maid, Bessie, played by Cassie Gideon of Bloomfield.
Jane eventually leaves her aunt’s home to go to boarding school, run by the evil Mr. Brocklehurst, played by Gavin Archer of Albia. At the school, however, Jane finds true friends in the form of her teacher, Miss Temple, played by Grace Haring of Cambria, and the patiently suffering Helen Burns, played by Gracie McVeigh of Centerville. She also encounters other, sometimes not-so-nice teachers there, Miss Scatcherd, played by Zandy Ioder of Carlisle and Miss Miller, played by Jocelyn Munkirs of Agency.
After leaving school, Jane gets a position as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where romance blooms with the master of the house, Edward Rochester, played by Alex Renneberg of Ottumwa. But will the romance last? Or will she go abroad with her long-lost cousin, St. John Rivers, played by Dawson Brown of Ottumwa?
A host of other interesting characters are found at Thornfield Hall, including the sinister Grace Poole, played by Ollie Shields of Fort Madison; Richard Mason, who threatens Rochester’s plans, played by Dylan Baldwin of Ottumwa; Mason’s attorney, played by Davis Nickel of Pleasantville; Rochester’s adorable French ward Adele Varens, played by Grace Haring of Cambria; the kindly servant Mrs. Fairfax, played by Makenna Arbogast of Agency; and the well-intentioned but poorly-informed Rev. Woods, played by Trey Thomas of Monroe.
The technical crew for the show, under the direction of Dr. Ray Slavens, includes stage manager Sarah Matt of Albia; Jared Ford of Centerville as lighting board operator; Rachel Showers of Albia as light board operator; and backstage crew Alex Lowe of Ottumwa, McKenna Baskett of Ottumwa, Sophia Stiles of Albia and Cami McClain of Centerville.