Revised JANE EYRE Musical to Premiere This Fall at CMT
In fall of 2018, Cleveland Musical Theatre will present the world premiere of a newly revised version of Jane Eyre, The Musical, in Cleveland, Ohio. This re-conceived version of Jane Eyre is the result of a yearlong collaboration between CMT’s Artistic Director, Miles J. Sternfeld, Tony Award-nominated composer/lyricist Paul Gordon and Tony Award-winning book writer John Caird. The production will premiere at Tri-C East’s Simon Rose Mandel Theatre on Cleveland’s east side.
First seen on the Broadway stage in 2000, Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë’s most famous female heroine – comes to life in this revisal of Caird and Gordon's sweeping masterpiece. A strong-willed and resilient young woman, Jane's journey to find independence brings her face to face with love, death, and an unimaginable secret. Told through a lush score, Jane Eyre has garnered a tremendous fan following worldwide, earning the musical 5 Tony Award nominations.
“For a few years now, Paul Gordon and I have been keen to explore the possibility of creating a chamber version of our Broadway musical Jane Eyre, in order to make the show a more practical proposition for small and medium-sized theatre companies around the world,” said Caird, the musical’s book writer.
Sternfeld, CMT’s founder and director of this revised Jane Eyre, approached Gordon and Caird to develop the new version with CMT. This collaboration led to a starry 29-hour reading in New York, featuring Broadway’s Tam Mutu (Dr. Zhivago) and Stephanie Umoh (Ragtime), and a subsequent workshop in Cleveland.
“The process has enabled us to cut down the size of cast and orchestra and streamline the story, intensifying the emotional journey of the central characters and giving a smaller supporting cast much more to do,” said Caird. “We are very pleased with the way the work has evolved so far and excited to see the new version prove itself in a full production in Cleveland.”
The premiere in Cleveland will feature a cast of 10 actors, starring Broadway and Cleveland-based artists alongside emerging young talent. This version will be more intimate and ensemble-driven, with actors playing multiple roles and debuting new songs by Gordon.
“One of the many reasons John Caird and I are thrilled to be bringing this new chamber version of Jane Eyre to Cleveland is -- not only will we have the opportunity to reexamine the material -- but we can create a new version of the show that is made for the 21st century,” Gordon said.
“Working with Miles Sternfeld and this young, talented team allows John Caird and I the chance to rework the material, creating a more intimate piece than it was on Broadway. And once we have the show exactly where we want it creatively, the next step would be to capture and stream the show to a worldwide audience.”
Gordon believes "streaming" will be a large part of Jane Eyre’s future along with re-licensing this re-worked version.
“Our production in Cleveland will make these goals possible,“ Gordon said. “We have a unique opportunity right now to make musical theatre affordable, accessible and sustainable. We believe that Jane Eyre can be one of the first shows to pave the way for this exciting new platform. John Caird and I are truly excited about the journey ahead and we welcome the chance to come to Cleveland and make Jane Eyre the best musical it can be.”
Jane Eyre is directed by CMT's Artistic Director Miles J. Sternfeld, with Music Supervision/Orchestrations by Brad Haak, Choreography by Martín Céspedes, Scenic Design by Gabriel Firestone, Costume Design by Sydney Gallas, Lighting Design by Benjamin Gantose, Sound Design by Carlton Guc, and Casting by Jamibeth Margolis.
CMT is a non-profit professional theater company that produces newly developed and re-imagined musical theatre, featuring Broadway and Cleveland artists with emerging talent, and offers educational programs. By serving as Cleveland’s only Equity theatre company devoted to musical theatre, CMT seeks to push artistic boundaries and redefine Cleveland as a national arts destination.
Tickets for Jane Eyre at Cleveland Musical Theatre go on sale May 1st. For more information, please visit www.ClevelandMusicalTheatre.org.