Who doesn’t love Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy — the “Little Women” of Louisa May Alcott’s bestseller?
Now you — and the next generation of fans — can love them the new old-fashioned way: through Staples Players’ radio theater.
The high school’s groundbreaking drama troupe performs “Little Women” this Sunday (February 28, 6 p.m.). It’s free via livestream, at www.wwptfm.org.
The musical is followed immediately by a repeat airing of Players’ previous radio drama, the riveting 23-minute thriller “Sorry, Wrong Number.”
“(Co-director David Roth) and I both love Little Women,” says co-director Kerry Long.
“It’s such a warm, feel-good story. But it also has some wonderful characters that were really contemporary before their day. We are so pleased that the success of the recent movie version made this story popular with our students; they love exploring these characters.”
She notes that though many people are familiar with both the book and the movie, no one has heard “Little Women” on the radio.
Roth appreciates that the show explores themes of familial loyalty, at a time of increased family togetherness.
Senior Samantha Webster (Jo) says, “The March family sticks together through hardship and personal exploration. The siblings go off at times to find their own passions and create their own lives, but they are always connected to home. It really demonstrates the strength of familial love and the bond it creates. I also think it is such a beloved story because the relationships as they are portrayed in the script feel very genuine.”
Webster relishes playing Jo. “She is such a classic character that she has been interpreted and re-interpreted a thousand times. It’s been fun discovering how her attitude fits within my own and creating the character from my perspective. She has a wonderful strength and boldness, and I understand how that leads her to sometimes be stubborn and impulsive. I’ve tried to pay particular attention to both her strengths and faults as both are fairly integral to how Jo behaves.”
Senior Claire Baylis describes her character, Meg, as a fun role to play because of the many complex layers hidden beneath the surface of her personality. “On the surface, she is the responsible older sister who never takes risks and strives to live a very normal life, but at her core, she loves passionately, fights for her family and loved ones, and sacrifices her childhood so that she can take care of her younger sisters. Her role is challenging in particular because on top of all that, she narrates the entire show. I think audiences will love how relatable each character is, no matter which they identify with. It is a beautiful story about life and what really matters when living it.”
Junior Colin Konstanty, who plays Laurie, says he has “a very interesting personality, which comes out a lot when he’s younger and changes as the play goes on. Because this play takes place over many years, it was tough early on to figure out how Laurie changes and grows as a person. He is also a very complex person and there’s so much to explore. It is a role I will always remember.”
“‘Little Women’ is a wonderful show that people of all ages can relate to. Although it takes place in the 19th century, it has many themes and valuable lessons that are relevant to society today.”
(The run time for “Little Women” is approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Music director is Don Rickenback. Click here for the livestream link.)