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Yvonne A.K. Johnson: “Why Jane Eyre?”

Yvonne A.K. Johnson & Cheryl Johnsen Talk about “why Jane Eyre”.                           

Yvonne A.K. 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 A.K. 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 A.K. 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 A.K. 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 A.K. 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 A.K. 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 A.K. 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 A.K. 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 A.K. 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 A.K. 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.

See this blog at http://spokanecivictheatre.tumblr.com/post/11869843602/why-jane-eyre


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