KEENE, N.H. 10/26/2015 – Little Women, a musical based on the well-loved Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name that chronicles the adventures of the four March sisters, will be presented Wednesday to Saturday, November 18 to 21, by the Keene State College Department of Theatre and Dance.
This musical version, which opened on Broadway in 2005, follows the story line of the coming-of-age novel when the Civil War is in full swing, and the March sisters ‑ Meg, the oldest, a romantic, the spirited and tomboyish Jo, sweet and loving Beth, and irascible, playful Amy ‑ live in Concord, Massachusetts with their Marmee while their father is on the battlefield.
Little Women is a fun, light-hearted musical based in New England, which is why it was chosen as her directorial debut at Keene State said director Kirstin Riegler Hensley, who joined the theatre faculty this fall after receiving a Master of Fine Arts in theatre and performance pedagogy from Virginia Commonwealth University.
“Being new to Keene, I wanted to choose a play that takes place in this part of the country and has a variety of young female roles (that could be filled by students) and adult roles that would encourage community members to audition,” Hensley said.
An added bonus was that the cast and designers were close enough to visit Louisa May Alcott’s childhood home in Concord, Mass. called Orchard House, now an historic house museum. There they were able to see the desk where Alcott wrote her stories and the low-ceiling attic where the sisters presented their plays. Theatre Professor Céline Perron is basing her stage set on the actual room décor of the Alcott house and Theatre Professor Elizabeth Tobey Roos is designing period costumes from the Civil War era, some of which are based on her own relatives’ photos from that time period 1860-65.
Essential to any musical is a live orchestra and the Music Department is providing a 13 piece orchestra, which will be located at the back of the stage. The front of the stage will project into the orchestra seating section to give the audience a sense that they are invited guests in the March home.
JoAnne Mead, a well-known Keene area singer and performer, is the musical director. Two KSC alumni are involved in the production: Riley Lynch is the production’s choreographer and Timothy L’Ecuyer is assistant director.
The 10 cast members include several local residents. Chris McCartie of Keene, who is director of pediatrics at Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center, plays Mr. Laurence. KSC alumnae Jeannie McGartland of Keene plays Marmee March. Tamar Teitelman of Keene, who graduated from Lesley University in May, plays Meg March.
KSC theatre and dance students in the cast are: Griffin Baker of New Milford, Ct. as Professor Bhaer; Abbie Brown of Dublin, N.H, as Amy March; Allyson Doyle of Leominster, Mass. as Aunt March; Andrew Flaherty of North Hampton, N.H. as Laurie Laurence; Heather Hunt of Gilmanton, N.H. as Beth March; Amy Lesieur of Concord, N.H. as Jo March; and Justin Poshanski of Auburn, N.H. as John Brooke.
Little Woman will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, November 18 to 21, with a 2 p.m. matinee added on Saturday, November 21, in the Main Theatre of the Redfern Arts Center on the KSC campus. Tickets are $16 for the general public, $13 for senior citizens, and $6 for KSC students. Call the Redfern Box Office at 603-358-2168 or order online at keene.edu/arts/redfern.
About Keene State Theatre and Dance Department
The Department of Theatre and Dance is dedicated to providing a comprehensive course of study that balances theory and practice within a sound liberal arts education. The collaborative nature of theatre and dance disciplines fosters an atmosphere in which students work closely with peers and faculty to gain practical experience in all facets or production and critical engagement. As artists and teachers, our primary focus is to encourage and guide our students as they find their creative voices and experience and question the world through the arts. For more information about the Theatre and Dance Department, visithttp://academics.keene.edu/tad or call 603-358-2162.
About Keene State College
Keene State College is a preeminent public liberal arts college that ensures student access to world-class academic programs. Integrating academics with real-world application and active community and civic engagement, Keene State College prepares graduates to meet society’s challenges by thinking critically, acting creatively, and serving the greater good. To learn more about Keene State College, visitwww.keene.edu.