George Fox University’s theatre department presents ‘Jane Eyre’ as its winter musical

January 16th, 2019

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Shows scheduled Jan. 31 to Feb. 3 and Feb. 7-10 in school’s Wood-Mar Auditorium

NEWBERG, Ore. – A musical adaption of Jane Eyre, originally a Gothic novel written by Charlotte Brontë in 1847, will take over George Fox University’s Wood-Mar Auditorium this winter.

Directed by Rhett Luedtke, professor of theatre at the university, the play runs Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 31 through Feb. 3, and again Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 7-10. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the two Sunday performances, scheduled as 2 p.m. matinees.

Tickets – $14 for general admission, $10 for seniors and George Fox alumni, and $8 for students and children under 12 – can be purchased online at Tickets are also available for purchase in the university’s box office, located in the Bruin Store, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, or in the lobby box office one hour prior to each production.

The play is a compelling and powerful musical adaptation of Brontë’s masterpiece, which tells the story of Jane Eyre, an orphaned girl antagonized by her aunt and exiled to an orphan school for girls only to suffer more mistreatment. There she meets a young girl who changes her life forever. Later, when Jane becomes the governess of Thornfield Hall, she meets a mysterious and powerful man with a dark secret. The play, featuring the music and lyrics of Paul Gordon and John Caird, was nominated for five Tony Awards.

“Like Jane, Brontë was able to rise above many of the oppressive social ideas and practices of Victorian society,” Luedtke said of the author. “As a semi-autobiographical novel, Jane Eyre serves as a social critique of its times while also celebrating perseverance, love and forgiveness. The musical, like the novel, celebrates Jane’s fierce independence, tenacity and compassion while reminding us what it means to be faithful and authentic in our own circumstances.”

The cast includes Hope Bellinger (“Jane Eyre”), a junior from Ocean Park, Washington; Brent Townley (“Rochester”), a senior philosophy major from Dundee, Oregon; Hannah Strawn (“Blanche Ingram”), a senior psychology and theatre double major from Newberg, Oregon; Karsten Montgomery (“Mr. Brocklehurst”), a junior music major from McMinnville, Oregon; Cora Beeman (“Helen Burns” and “Mary Ingram”), a senior theatre major from Bellevue, Washington; Kate Bloomquist (“Grace Pool”), a freshman psychology and music double major from Medford, Oregon; Brooke Larson (“Mrs. Fairfax”), a senior theatre major from Portland, Oregon; Lauren Vander Aarde (“Lady Ingram”), a senior theatre and history double major from Vancouver, Washington; and Nathaniel Read (“Mr. Eshton”), a senior psychology major from Camano Island, Washington. In all, there are more than 20 cast members.

The George Fox University theatre department has been recognized by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. with awards for individual acting, set design, and overall production.

George Fox University is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier regional university. Money magazine ranked it the No. 1 school in Oregon in its 2017-18 “Best Colleges for Your Money” list. More than 4,000 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond, Ore. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, six seminary degrees, and 13 master’s and doctoral degrees.


Rhett Luedtke
Professor of Theatre, George Fox University

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