Show History



The musical, Jane Eyre, is adapted from Charlotte Brontë's novel of the same name. The novel was published in 1847 in London. It was originally published under the title, Jane Eyre: An Autobiography. Many popular musicals are based on literary source material.


Jane Eyre had its first workshop in 1995 at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York, NY. Another workshop production followed in 1996 at Theatre Wichita in Kansas. While minor roles and the large ensemble of schoolgirls were cast locally, the directors brought in several principal actors from New York. The musical was well received, and a recording of this rendition allowed the creative team and their backers to move the project slowly towards an opening on Broadway.

 In late 1997, Jane Eyre had its world premiere at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto, Canada. This was followed by a pre-Broadway tryout at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego, California, from July 14, 1999, to August 29, 1999. In California, the creative team reduced the cast to 19 (from 30 in Toronto).

 Jane Eyre debuted on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on November 9, 2000. After 36 previews, the show opened on December 10, 2000. The production had directed by John Caird and Scott Schwartz, choreography by Jayne Paterson, set designs by John Napier, costumes by Andreane Neofitou and lighting by Jules Fisher and Peggy Eisenhauer. It ran for 209 performances and closed on June 10, 2001.

Cultural Influence

  • An original cast recording of Jane Eyre was released in 2000.
  • Jane Eyre was produced by the Department of Theater at University of Maryland College Park in October of 2005 at The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. The production was received extremely well, becoming the best-selling show that the department had ever done.
  • Jane Eyre is an important novel in the Western literary canon; beyond the musical version, it has been often adapted for film, television, radio and theatre.


  • Jane Eyre was nominated for five Tony Awards.
  • Alanis Morissette, a friend of composer/lyricist, Paul Gordon, bought $150,000 worth of tickets to the musical and donated them to various charity groups. This allowed the show to stay open through the 2001 Tony Award telecast.
  • The original cast featured Marla Schaffel as Jane and James Barbour as Edward Fairfax Rochester.