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Jane Eyre
Synopsis

ACT ONE

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 fianc, 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 #3).

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 (SOLILOQUIES #2).

ACT TWO

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).