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Home Arts & Culture Students perform a more relatable version of ‘Little Women’

Jo and Laurie find Beth in the closet crying when she finds out that she is sick again. 

Photo credit: Kayla Korb

By Josiah Horvath


Concordia’s presentation of “Little Women” this weekend at the Black Box Theatre was an adaptation, by Kate Hamil, offering a more current script for the novel by Louisa May Alcott that originally was published in a two-volume set in 1868 and 1869.

“The playwright intentionally tried to make the issues or the topics and the relationships feel relatable to present day audiences,” said Bryan Moore, professor of communication and theatre arts, who directed the show.

The four main characters were sisters Meg, played by Naomi Faile, Jo, played by Claire Horacek, Beth, played by Delaney Baker and Amy, played by Elizabeth Ascher. The show followed their lives, loves, dreams and challenges growing up.

Wendy Stepp, mother of Sarah Stepp, who played the piano for the performance, said the show was condensed but “was great” and “very well done,” including the dialogue, the set and the music.

“I thought the girls did a wonderful job as far as playing the sisters,” she said.

Moore said the shows had a successful turn out, pointing out that on Sunday it sold out and on Friday and Saturday it was close to selling out.

“I thought the production went very well,” he said. “The audience seemed to receive the show well.”

Bob Olson was scene designer and shop supervisor. There was a small reception hosted for him before the Little Women production on Saturday because it was his last show before he retires.

“I’m proud of what I saw them accomplish,” said Olson said. “They worked hard.”

He said there is a process to putting on a play that everyone follows.

“In a show, you gain that momentum, you work, you rehearse, you rehearse, and then you get into production week and the costumes and the makeup and all that, and you build your momentum and your energy up,” he said. “Then you have strike [the taking down of a set after closing] and then the next day — nothing.”

Olson called that post-production depression, when students feel depressed because they had so much momentum and excitement and preparation, but then “it’s gone.”

Caleb Jalas, who played the roles of John Brooks, the parrot and the doctor, said the play came together beautifully, and that he was proud of the work they did and the art they were able to perform.

“In any production, even if I don’t get the role that I was originally planning on having, the character I end up having is always near to my heart,” he said. “Because I get to embody that character and I pour so much of myself into it. I loved all the characters I got to play.”

Scott Olson, audience member and brother of Bob Olson, said the production is about more than individual efforts. “It’s the whole team. It’s everyone,” he said. “It’s teamwork that makes it all happen. That’s what I think is the best part about it [the play].”

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