For movie theater artist KJ Sanchez, leading the approaching Milwaukee Repertory Theater creation of Charlotte now Bront? ’s “Jane Eyre” isn’t an opportunity to involve herself within a famed edition of this innovative novel, which includes inspired a lot more than two number of films, musicals, operas and ballets in addition to a symphony.
Is considered also a likelihood to repay a debt sustained when lady first browse “Jane Eyre” at 13.
“‘Jane Eyre’ was extremely important to me as a teenaged girl, ” Sanchez said, speaking by phone from Austin during a break in a new play festival at the University of Texas, where she is an associate professor.
“I was a geeky weird girl who also didn’t know how to be charming and cute. I was opinionated. I couldn’t find my way, and all the heroines I was reading about were charming and beautiful. Jane was a revolutionary who wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. She gave me permission to be myself. ”Much like her famous heroine, Bront? struggled all her life to be herself and speak her mind within the constricting Victorian world in which she lived.
“For a Victorian woman to express her passionate nature is to invite the severest of punishment, ” wrote Polly Teale in a program note 20 years ago, when her adaptation of “Jane Eyre” premiered at the Youthful Vic in London. “Jane must keep her fiery spirit locked away if she is to survive. ”
“Jane Eyre” offers an object lesson for women who also fail to toe the line, giving us the famed mad woman in the attic: Bertha Mason, locked up as insane by her husband, Edward Rochester. Jane – orphaned, homely, poor and abused as well as intelligent, passionate, rebellious and outspoken – falls for Rochester, not realizing that he’s already married and that mad Bertha is his wife.
In creating the adaption we’ll see at the Rep, Teale’s ingenious idea involved viewing and staging Bertha because Jane’s double rather than treating her because Jane’s opposite.
Bertha “is both dangerous and exciting, ” Teale wrote in 1997. “She is passionate and sex. She is angry and violent. She is the embodiment of everything Jane, a Victorian woman, must never be. She is perhaps everything that Bront? feared in herself and longed to express. ”
In Teale’s adaptation, Bertha shadows and haunts Anne, giving words to all that Jane simply cannot or care not claim, until jane is locked up much when Jane very little had been since a child. Even therefore, Bertha will never be silenced; when she communicates what Anne feels, the group will experience Jane noticeably restraining very little, much when her cl?ture constrains her body and her movements.
“We applied clothes when close to the legitimate clothes that might have therefore been put on as possible, ” Sanchez stated, of the outfit design simply by Rachel Bea Healy. “All of the fashionistas, for example , will be wearing cordons. We wanted to block off women in clothing highlighting the limiting expectations that they can live and experience. ”
For all that, Jane makes herself seen, and not just through soliloquies that Sanchez details as “Shakespearean. ”
Central to Teale’s expressionist perspective – when espoused simply by Shared Encounter, the London-based theater firm that taking place “Jane Eyre” and of which in turn Teale is still artistic representative – is a importance of very subjective experience, whether or not what a persona feels does not correlate with the aim world that character situations.