After the unexpected death of her parents from typhoid fever (GRAVEYARD
SEQUENCE #1), Young Jane is sent to Gateshead to live with her father's
sister, Sarah Reed and her three children. Yearning to escape the harsh
treatment she experiences there, she dreams of a better life elsewhere
(WHERE DO I BELONG?).
Unable to accept Jane into her home, Mrs. Reed sends young Jane to Lowood
School for Orphaned Girls, presided over by a strict disciplinarian, Mr.
Brocklehurst. (LOWOOD SCHOOL, LOWOOD SCHOOL ROUND). At Lowood, she is
befriended by another student, Helen Burns, who, in spite of being very ill,
shares Jane's dream for a happier life someday (I'LL STAY WITH YOU).
Miss Temple, the only compassionate teacher among the faculty, gives
comfort and encouragement to them (HOW MUCH CAN WE LEARN?).
Helen soon dies of consumption and Jane is once again alone (GRAVEYARD
SEQUENCE #2). She spends the next eight years at Lowood growing under the
loving guidance of Miss Temple and eventually becomes a teacher there. Now a
young woman, Jane accepts a teaching position at Thornfield Hall and sadly
bids farewell to Miss Temple (FAREWELL LOWOOD).
Within the walls of Thornfield Hall, there are secrets of which Jane is
unaware (BEHIND CLOSED DOORS #1). Upon her arrival at Thornfield, she is
greeted by the jovial Mrs. Fairfax and meets her young charge, Adele
(ADELE'S WELCOME). Mrs. Fairfax explains that the owner of Thornfield,
Edward Rochester, is away on business. As she escorts Jane through the
house, they hear a mysterious laughter echoing through the corridors. Mrs.
Fairfax tells her that it's probably one of the servants in an upstairs
bedroom (BEHIND CLOSED DOORS#2).
One evening, as Jane walks along the footpaths of the estate, she
suddenly finds herself in the direct path of a galloping horse, whose rider
is thrown to the ground when the horse rears. The gentleman is perturbed and
verbally chastises Jane for the incident. The next morning, Jane is shocked
to discover that the rider is none other than her employer, Edward
Rochester, the master of Thornfield. Their second meeting is a bit more
docile, and Edward is both taken aback and amused by Jane's blunt
truthfulness and opinionated statements. Once he is gone, Jane is left to
ponder the first impression she's given him and, more importantly, the
impression he's left with her (PERHAPS).
Jane soon learns that young Adele was taken in by Edward after she was
abandoned by her mother, Celine, a French opera dancer with whom he shared a
passionate affair many years earlier (MY DAYS WITH CELINE).
Late one night, Jane is awakened by a mysterious laughter and finds
Edward's bed engulfed in flames. She wakes him and the fire is put out.
Edward thanks her for saving his life and it is obvious the two are growing
closer emotionally (SOLILOQUIES #1). The next morning, Jane is saddened to
find Edward gone on another lengthy journey.
Months later, he returns to Thornfield with a houseful of guests (A
SERVANT EARNS HIS KEEP) and, much to Jane's disappointment, his fiancé,
Blanche Ingram. A party is held for the guests (MINUET) and Blanche
entertains (LET EVERY MAN REJOICE). The party is interrupted when Edward and
Jane are summoned by Mrs. Fairfax to attend to an unexpected gentleman who
is found wounded and bleeding in an upstairs bedroom (BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Edward is visibly upset by the man's presence and, once his wound has
been treated, sends him away with a warning to never again set foot in
Thornfield. Left alone together, Edward confesses how much he's come to
depend on Jane. She receives a letter requesting her presence at her dying
Aunt Reed's bedside and, once more, the two are forced apart as Jane leaves
on a journey back to Gateshead uncertain of what the future may hold
Jane returns to Thornfield after her Aunt Reed dies and learns that Adele
is being sent to school in France. Assuming it's because Edward and Blanche
are to be married, she is saddened at the news. Edward tells her it is she,
and not Blanche, that he loves, and he asks Jane to marry him (WHEREVER YOU
ARE IS HOME).
On the day of the wedding (WEDDING MARCH), the ceremony is interrupted by
a solicitor who charges that Edward is already married and that his wife is
still alive. When Edward challenges the accusation, a gentleman by the name
of Richard Mason appears and Jane recognizes him as the man who was found
bleeding on the night of the party several months ago. Mason tells everyone
that he is the brother of Edward's first wife, Bertha, who is now locked
inside a bedroom at Thornfield Hall. Edward confesses that what Mason says
is true, and leads everyone back to Thornfield and to the upstairs bedroom
where they find a servant, Grace Poole, keeping watch over a madwoman. He
tells them the story of Bertha, a beautiful woman he married in Jamaica who
soon plunged into uncontrollable madness (NO MORE TO HIDE).
Edward begs Jane to understand, but she is heartbroken and flees
Thornfield (MEMORIES OF THORNFIELD).
After a long, exhausting journey, Jane collapses on the steps of Moor
House, presided over by the local minister, St. John Rivers, his sisters,
Diana and Mary, and their housekeeper, Hannah. She is nursed back to health
and tells them that her name is Jane Elliot.
Back at Thornfield, Mrs. Fairfax tries to comfort Edward's pain at the
loss of his beloved Jane (SET HER FREE).
Now fully recovered, Jane is persuaded by the Rivers sisters to stay on.
St. John secures a teaching position for her at a school for girls and
slowly comes to realize how valuable she would be for the missionary work he
has planned in India. Mary and Diana, however, think that his interest in
Jane is out of love (ST. JOHN IS THE MAN). St. John asks Jane to accompany
him to India (LOOK TO YOUR HEART). Jane reluctantly agrees but is suddenly
startled by a voice in her head calling out to her. It is Edward's voice
calling her back (VOICES).
Jane rushes back to Thornfield to find it in ruins, the result of a fire
started by Bertha, a tragedy which not only took Bertha's life but left
Edward blind. She finds Edward sitting in the garden, and tells him that she
has come home for good. No matter what the future holds, they will at least
face it together (WHEREVER YOU ARE IS HOME-reprise).