Historic season begins at Geva Theatre

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The stage is set for another season at Geva Theatre.

The cast of Jane Eyre is putting the final touches on their performances. Helping them is Artistic Director Elizabeth Williamson.

“We’re going to go through and sculpt the lighting design in sections,” said Williamson. “We’ve been focusing on stage traffic as we move through previews you work on lighting.”

Elizabeth took over the position at the end of last season. Making her the first female artistic director in Geva’s history.

Jane Eyre was the last show Williamson directed before the pandemic closed theaters across the country. Now she’s bringing it to the stage at Geva, kicking off its 50th season.

“This production of Jane Eyre is about storytelling,” Williamson said. “It’s about getting to the heart and romance of the novel.”

She spent time working on and off Broadway and also in London’s West End. She applied for the position at Geva after seeing how the company works with the community.

“I love Geva and love how Geva is committed to doing new work alongside the classics,” Williamson said. “Really excited to work with a company that wants to dig roots into Rochester.”

Digging roots in Rochester is something Williamson looks forward to doing. After spending the summer at Geva, she fell in love with the artistic atmosphere in the city.

“It’s such a vibrant town,” she said. “It feels like that special time moment in the city’s history when it’s still affordable for artists to be here. People are coming to create new work.”

Since Jane Eyre opened, Williamson says audiences in Rochester have been great.

“They really listen,” she said. “It’s wonderful to feel like you’re in a house of people who are leaning into a play. You get laughs, showing they’re following along.”

And she hopes that feeling continues throughout the rest of the season.

For Geva’s full schedule, click here.