Plymouth, N.H.—Students at Plymouth State University will give life to the characters of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women when they perform a musical based on the book November 18-20 at the Silver Center for the Arts, studio theatre.
Little Women follows the adventures of the March family in Civil War America. All Alcott’s classic characters are here: warm and loving Margaret March (Marmee), vivacious Amy, sweet and dreamy Meg, tender-hearted Beth, handsome and charming Laurie, Aunt March, Professor Bhaer and the passionate and funny tomboy Jo.
The book was written and set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Mass. The March daughters’ coming of age in New England while their father is off in the Civil War is loosely based on Alcott’s life.
Guest Director Sharon Lajoie says, “Louisa May Alcott was a woman ahead of her time. She fought for women’s suffrage and worked to improve the quality of life for all women during the late 1800s. It is her individual passion for life and zeal for family that we experience in this tale.
“The musical collaborators, Allan Knee, Mindi Dickstein and Jason Howland, took a book that was more than 140 years old, and without losing its essence and individuality transformed it so it is not only accessible for the 21st century sensibility but unique in itself,” Lajoie continued.
Cast members are Samantha Bagdon of Madbury, Heather Jacques of Salem, Ben Cesare of Boxborough, Mass., and Jennifer Roach of Highgate Center, Vt.
Also Luke Meierdiercks of St. Johnsbury, Vt., Eben Brown of Dorchester, Andrew Freitas of Acushnet, Mass., Katie Lenhart of Norwich, Vt., Lisa Hansen of Nashua, Samantha St. Onge of Londonderry and Brady Lynch of Amherst.
Musical Director Kathleen Arecchi says, “This presentation of the Little Women story is an interesting juxtaposition of musical and singing styles. The story and its setting are mid-19th century; the music is at one moment very much in the mainstream of contemporary musical theatre vocal writing, while at another moment it is suggestive of traditional American folk idioms. Some characters need a beautiful soprano quality, or a legitimate baritone quality, while others are belting out tunes in a very contemporary way. This variety has afforded performing opportunities to students with different backgrounds, training and interests. We have musical theatre, music education and vocal performance majors playing roles in this show, and they perform the wide variety of American song and singing styles in a manner that leads to a very stylish and charming show.
Performances of Little Women are November 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20 at 8 p.m., November 13 and 20 at 2 p.m. and November 14 at 3 p.m.
General information about events at PSU is online at ThisWeek@PSU. http://thisweek.blogs.plymouth.edu.