This paper examines the use of theatrical elements in Charlotte Bronte`s Villette. I argue that only through a series of decidedly theatrical narrative "performances" within the novel is Lucy Snowe, as both spectator and participant, able to emerge psychologically from the repression that initially dominates her character. In addition, contextualizing my own analysis within and extending upon a generation of existing research into the theatricality of Villette, I demonstrate the extent to which these performances and the "role" of independence Lucy eventually assumes reveal a subversive, feminist impulse behind the novel`s construction. The novel`s theatricality becomes coded to a predominantly feminist sentiment as Lucy learns to wield her performative powers. However, one must avoid a simple dichotomy between repression and performance. As John Kucich writes of Lucy`s narration, in a Victorian sense "expression and repression cooperate and enhance each other by being identically opposed to direct self-revelation." Kucich`s psychological approach to Lucy`s character and narrative performativity is fundamental to my argument. The works of other critics who have written specifically about theatricality in Bronte`s novels, including Joseph Litvak and Lisa Surridge, also help provide an important framework for my essay, particularly in the attention to prevailing Victorian attitudes toward the theatre.