ORHS Performs Classic Coming of Age Drama, Little Women
The Oyster River Drama Department gets ready to perform a rendition of Little Women on November 21st, 22nd, and 23rd at 7:00 pm.
Originally written in 1868, the 19th-century tale takes place in the author’s (Louisa May Alcott), hometown of Concord, Massachusetts. Little Women follows the fictional lives of the March family who, for the first time, are forced to experience life without their parents.
Although the March sisters: Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy are burdened by the absence of their parents and the sickness of the youngest sister, Beth, played by Margaret MacLeod (‘23), Little Women differs from the previous two fall play’s themes of sexual abuse and domestic violence. “The family in Little Women is an everyday family that goes through their own hardships and they have their own relationships. It’s really just a charming story and is very heart-warming,” said Sofia Testa (‘21) who plays Jo, the second eldest of the March sisters.
A change from the previous fall plays, Little Women was chosen specifically for the group of students participating. “We have a lot of younger people this year. We’re in a period right now where there’s not a lot of upperclassmen interested in theater,” said Testa, commenting on the current lack of interest in theater.
Last year’s graduating class contained the majority of ORHS’s actors, leaving this year’s production with a total of seventeen people, including cast and tech. Because of this, there were concerns regarding participation, especially male actors. “We go through the ebbs and flows of not having guys,” said director Meredith Freeman-Caple. With only four male roles in a small cast of eleven people, Little Women appeared to Freeman-Caple as the, perfect choice. “This just seemed right,” said Freeman-Caple who, despite the lack of upperclassmen, praised the fall play by saying, “I think it’s really well cast.”
Joining Liam Ashburner (‘21), this year’s stage manager and tech crew member since freshman year, are two new members with previous experience. “This year with tech, although we lost quite a few people from last year, there are so many new incoming freshmen from the middle school who have been doing theater there for the past few years that are really interested and ready to learn about the tech side of theater. It’s been really easy finding people and having plenty of help for tech,” said Ashburner.
This year’s fall play has twice the amount of stage hands as last year’s production. “I’m excited about being able to work with such a new group of students this year,”Ashburner commented, referring to the new company that will be joining him for the fall play and future productions.
Agreeing with Ashburner’s enthusiasm towards the new group of students, Testa commented, “I’m excited to continue interacting with my [peers], the people working on this show, just because I didn’t know a lot of them before rehearsals started and I’ve just started to get to know them. It’s a cool experience to be doing something I love with new people.”
Hannah Hatfield (‘22) who plays the March’s servant Hannah, agreed with Ashburner and Testa saying, “In Little Women it’s been really fun to grow into a family with the cast. We’ve created a really strong bond and we’ve worked really hard to get this show to be a great final product.”
Little Women will be performed Thursday, November 21st, Friday, November 22nd, and Saturday, November 23rd. All shows start at 7:00 pm and admission is five dollars for students and eight dollars for adults.
Pictures taken by Isabella Crocco