Spokane Civic Theatre
Jane Eyre in Concert, a quick look back
Congratulations to all the performers, vocalists and instrumentalists. And thank you, Spokane, for all of your continued support for Spokane Civic Theatre. We appreciate you more than you know.
And for a few looks back at the two big nights:
Jane Eyre in Concert, a quick look back
Yvonne AK Johnson: Why Jane Eyre?
Yvonne AK Johnson & Cheryl Johnsen Talk about “why Jane Eyre”.
With only two shows, this weekend October 28 & 29, the staff at Spokane Civic Theatre is all about Jane Eyre in Concert, directed by Yvonne AK Johnson. What better time to sit down with Yvonne and get the goods?
Yvonne AK Johnson is the Executive Artistic Director at Spokane Civic Theatre and Cheryl Johnsen is the Marketing Coordinator.
Let the games begin:
Cheryl Johnsen: How is an in concert different from a musical?
Yvonne AK Johnson: The focus is on the music with 60 instrumentalists and vocalists. Everyone is on stage together which creates different production values as we have representational sets, lights, costumes and props but not to the full scale that we normally do when a musical runs five weeks.
Cheryl Johnsen: What made you choose Jane Eyre?
Yvonne AK Johnson: An in concert is first chosen as a production that we may not have the opportunity to produce for a full five week run for various reasons. There is a certain combination of the degree of music complexity that plays a factor as well as cast/orchestra size.
Cheryl Johnsen: What do you like about the music of Jane Eyre?
Yvonne AK Johnson: The first time I heard the score I was mesmorized by the beauty of the musical phrasing and the intensity of the piece in general.
Cheryl Johnsen: Will we be able to follow the story line throughout the performance since its nearly all music?
Yvonne AK Johnson: Yes, absolutely. The emphasis is on music but we include the dialogue from the libretto so the story is told.
Cheryl Johnsen: What are your favorite parts of the performance?
Yvonne AK Johnson: I truly love it all. Everyone gives 110%. It’s a real treat to watch from start to finish.
Cheryl Johnsen: Highlight some of the performers for us.
Yvonne AK Johnson:Veterans of the past seven in concerts Andrea Dawson (Jane Eyre) and Darnelle Preston (Mrs. Fairfax) as well as newcomers to the Civic in concerts Tamara Schupman (Blanche Ingram) and Steven Mortier (Edward Rochester). When Carolyn Jess and I started the in concert series together we wanted to include community members that cannot usually commit 12 weeks to a production which is the case at Civic when we produce a full scale musical. (Seven weeks of rehearsals and a five week run). The vehicle of the in concert has allowed many professional musicians in our area to take part in our community theatre.
Cheryl Johnsen: How is directing an in concert different from directing a musical?
Yvonne AK Johnson: They both take a great amount of coordination in advance to produce but the in concerts are a whirlwind. We put them together in a total of eight rehearsals so much of the work is prepared individually in advance by all involved (music, character work, line memorization, general production aspects) including needing to be able to read music on their own.
Cheryl Johnsen: This is your 7th in concert. Out of all the in concerts you’ve done, which are your favorites and why?
Yvonne AK Johnson: That is a question impossible for a director to answer. They are all my favorites or we would not have produced them. Each one is a unique experience that I have been grateful to have the support of the arts community and patrons.
Cheryl Johnsen: Anything else you can think of that will make me run down and get my tickets?
Yvonne AK Johnson:We have a full complement in the orchestra which is unique to have under the conducting baton of Michael Saccomanno. There are 15 in total. The Spokane Area Children’s Choir (12) are performing under the masterful direction of Darnelle Preston. Clinkerdagger and Europa are also hosting the post show receptions!
Sponsored by Sterling Savings, Jane Eyre in Concert will run only two evenings (this weekend) and seating is limited at this point. Call 509.325.2507 for more information.
Jane Eyre, yes, Virginia, it is a musical
Some of you may say, Jane Eyre, the musical? What? What? What? Well, yes. Jane Eyre (the musical), in concert is coming to Spokane Civic Theatre. Directed by Yvonne AK Johnson, this all musical production will highlight the music of the story with scenes such as Children of God, Forgiveness, and Sweet Liberty.
We promise you this is not your typical Jane Eyre. In fact, what you are getting according to Yvonne AK Johnson, is a celebration of the musicality of theatre with 60 live instrumentalists and vocalists including the Spokane Children’s Chorus.
Keep in mind that Yvonne AK Johnson selected Steven Mortier to sing the role of Edward Fairfax Rochester (you might have seen him sing Messiah with the Spokane Symphony this last spring) for a reason. His voice? Heaven. Come, you’ll see.
Here’s a taste of Forgiveness for you. Don’t forget this is a fundraiser to support the professional excellence of our Civic orchestras. Tickets are on sale now at the Spokane Civic Theatre box office and with only two performances, you can bet this will be a sell out (Oct 28-29).
From the Spokesman Review Features Desk
Our thanks to the The Spokesman-Review for this excerpt from their recent article summing up upcoming Spokane stage events.
Spokane Civic Theatre – This is where you’ll find both of the aforementioned Gothic governesses, one from the pen of Henry James, the other from the pen of Charlotte Bronte.
But first, we’ll meet a vivacious ’20s flapper in the musical “Thoroughly Modern Millie” on the Main Stage, Sept. 23-Oct. 23.
You might remember Millie Dillmount from the 1967 movie. This is the musical version of her story, which became a 2002 Broadway hit. Expect a lot of toe-tapping songs and some big tap numbers. Kathie Doyle-Lipe and Greg Pschirrer direct.
That will be followed on the Main Stage by a new version of “A Christmas Carol,” Nov. 18-Dec. 18. You’ll see all of the great Dickens characters – and a few puppets, as well. Troy Nickerson directs.
Over in the Firth J. Chew Studio Theatre, Henry James’ literary ghost story “The Turn of the Screw” runs Oct. 21-Nov. 13. It has a two-person cast, with one actress playing the governess and another playing all of the other roles. Susan Hardie directs.
We’ll meet the other governess in the Civic’s annual musical-in-concert fundraiser, “Jane Eyre,” Oct. 28-29 on the Main Stage. This is the Paul Gordon musical that arrived on Broadway in 2000. Yvonne A.K. Johnson directs.
Overall, the Civic has been on an upswing in terms of both audience and quality. Johnson said season ticket sales exceed last year’s record pace.