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Cincinnati PlayHouse in the Park presentsCincinnati Enquirer quotes Margaret Ivey saying:
by Charlotte Brontë
Adapted by Polly Teale
Marx Theatre | March 11 - March 15 (previews); March 16- April 8, 2017
Directed by KJ Sanchez
Margaret Ivey as Jane Eyre
Michael Sharon as Rochester
Rin Allen as Bertha
Andy Paterson as John Reed / Teacher / Richard Mason / Pilot the dog
Christine Toy Johnson as Bessie / Blanche Ingram / Grace Poole / Diane Rivers
Tina Stafford as Mrs. Reed / Mrs. Fairfax
Rebecca Hirota asHelen Burns / Adele / Mary Rivers
Damian Baldet as Mr. Brocklehurst / Lord Ingram / Saint John Rivers
Unlock the secrets.
Passionate romance meets thrilling psychological drama in this critically acclaimed adaptation. Poor and plain but with a fiery spirit, Jane Eyre overcomes a troubled childhood to land a position as governess at the mysterious Thornfield estate. Her fortunes take an improbable twist once she falls for Thornfield’s enigmatic master Mr. Rochester and finds her love returned. When secrets from the past threaten her newfound happiness, Jane decides to forge her own path, one in which she can be true to herself and follow her heart. Jane Eyre depicts an unconventional heroine for the ages who’s certain to cast a spell on fans of the novel and those new to her charms.
Interestingly, actress Margaret Ivey, who plays the title character in the Playhouse production, had never read the novel before she was cast in the play.The director, KJ Sanchez, is quoted on Broadway World:
“I don’t know how I got out of high school without reading it,” she laughs. “So my first interaction with the story was the play, not the book. As soon as I got cast, though, I knew I had 600 pages to read as quickly as I could.”
Only in the past couple of months has she come to understand the depth of affection that so many people have for the novel. Over and over, she says, she has encountered people who are deeply moved by Jane’s remarkable tenacity and her moral clarity.
“So many of the difficulties she faces are things that we’re still trying to figure out today,” says Ivey. “I think about how far ahead of her time she was. And the language – it’s so gorgeous and achingly accurate about some of the things that all of us feel.”
Ivey was happy when she got cast in the role. For actors, life sometimes feels like an nonstop search for jobs. For Ivey, this gig was particularly sweet. Though she is from Atlanta, she has great fondness for Cincinnati. Her first professional job was at Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. And back in the 2011-2012 season, she had been an intern at the Playhouse. To come back so soon in a leading role is quite a coup.
But as she has gotten deeper and deeper into the role, she has come to understand what a treasure it is to step into the skin of one of British literature’s most beloved heroines.
“It’s kind of a dream, really,” says Ivey. “I’m still pinching myself about it. I’m just so curious what the reaction will be. It’s a novel that so many people know so well. But it also is such a modern story.”
Ivey rattles off a few favorite lines. And then, just before our conversation ends, she adds one more – her favorite.
“She says ‘I have spoken my mind, and can go anywhere now.’ Don’t you love that? To me, that just sums it up.” (David Lyman)
"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."