Known as the “Nine Days Queen,” Lady Jane Grey has gone down in history as the 16-year-old queen of England with the shortest reign. Used as a pawn in a game much bigger than herself, Jane faced her execution with honor.
The Logos Theatre retells the tragic yet inspiring story of Jane’s nine-day reign in “Jane the Quene” for one local performance only. Afterward, the theater’s Academy of Arts will take the show all over the country to produce with high school students as a theater camp.
Co-writer Abigail Pierce wants audiences to feel inspired and encouraged by Jane’s life.
“Yes, she did die at the end, but she lived according to her principles,” Pierce says. “If you really just look at her life and who she was as a person, there’s no one else that you would really want to emulate.”
Pierce describes Jane as intelligent, thoughtful, and kind — a young girl with no desire for the crown, and who was used by those around her in a plot to keep a Catholic from taking the throne.
Although Jane, a devout Protestant, could have recanted her faith to avoid the death penalty placed on her by Mary Tudor, she chose to stand for her personal beliefs, says co-writer and director Nicole Stratton.
According to Stratton, a willingness to live and die for principles, just as Jane did, is the play’s main theme.
“What we’ve tried to do is stay very historically accurate and unbiased,” she says. “We’re not trying to pit one of the religions against the other.”
While Jane’s story took place nearly 500 years ago, its lessons can still be applied today, Stratton says. “Even as young people, sometimes your situations are outside of your control, but how you respond to those situations is really important,” she says.
Staying true to personal beliefs, remaining humble, and living with integrity are ways people today can make a difference, she says.
“Here’s a woman who is not only intelligent and articulate and able to stand with her principles, she’s also full of grace, kind, loving, and merciful,” Stratton says. “Her powerful living is what changes the people around her and really impacts them.”
Following The Logos Theatre’s recent Narnia production “The Horse and His Boy,” which was full of spectacle as well as story, “Jane the Quene” is more character-driven. “It’s a lot of really great storytelling,” Stratton says.
“Jane the Quene”
When: 7 p.m. June 21
Where: The Logos Theatre, 80 School St., Taylors