Jane Eyre (played by Blair Holohan) smiles at her love Sir Rochester (played by Alex Rennenberg). (Photo courtesy of IHCC)
How is a poor orphan girl, abused by her guardian and haunted by ghosts, supposed to make her way across the moors of England to an adulthood that includes contentment and love? Find out when Indian Hills Community College is presenting Jane Eyre on Thursday, December 1, Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the St. John Auditorium. Performances are free to the public and visitors are encouraged to reserve their tickets in advance by calling 641-683-5145.
director dr Jennifer Terry Boyenga says, “The thoughtful gothic romance based on the 1847 novel by Charlotte Bronte offers humor and warmth in this coming-of-age tale about a young girl who finds herself without the help of family or friends friends through life who ultimately learn to be compassionate and resilient against all odds.”
The play begins with Jane, played by Ottumwa resident Blair Holohan, revisits the ruins of Thornfield Hall years later to tell the fascinating story of her life. As she recounts her experiences, her teenage self emerges, played by Kaya Baca from Ottumwa, and reenacts scenes from her childhood through her evil aunt, played by Faith Zanoni from Albia, and her cousins John Reed, played by Brent Williams , after by Ottumwa, Georgiana Reed played by Britney Cosper from Carlisle, and Eliza Reed played by Katelin Valentine from Ottumwa. The only bright spot in her childhood is the maid Bessie, played by Cassie Gideon from Bloomfield.
Jane eventually leaves her aunt’s house to attend a boarding school run by the evil Mr. Brocklehurst, played by Albia’s Gavin Archer. At school, however, Jane finds true friends in the form of her teacher, Miss Temple, played by Cambria’s Grace Haring, and the patiently suffering Helen Burns, played by Centerville’s Gracie McVeigh. There she also meets other, sometimes not so nice, teachers, Miss Scatcherd, played by Zandy Ioder from Carlisle, and Miss Miller, played by Jocelyn Munkirs from Agency. After leaving school, Jane gets a job as governess at Thornfield Hall, where romance blossoms with landlord Edward Rochester, played by Alex Renneberg from Ottumwa. But will the romance last? Or will she go abroad with her long-lost cousin St. John Rivers, played by Ottumwa’s Dawson Brown?
Thornfield Hall is home to many other interesting characters including the sinister Grace Poole played by Fort Madison’s Ollie Shields, Richard Mason who threatens Rochester’s plans played by Ottumwa’s Dylan Baldwin, Mason’s attorney played by Pleasantville’s Davis Nickel, Rochester’s adorable French ward Adele Varens, played by Cambria’s Grace Haring, the affable maid Mrs. Fairfax, played by Agency’s Makenna Arbogast, and the well-intentioned but ill-informed Rev. Woods, played by Monroe’s Trey Thomas.
The technical crew for the show, led by Dr. Ray Slavens includes stage manager Sarah Matt from Albia, Jared Ford from Centerville as the light panel operator, Rachel Showers from Albia as the light panel operator, and backstage crew Alex Lowe from Ottumwa. McKenna Baskett from Ottumwa, Sophia Stiles from Albia and Cami McClain from Centerville.