There’s a good chance any student hasn’t heard of the play Little Women, as once again the Missouri Western theater department will be putting on a showing in of the classic Louis May Alcott novel.
The play will be held in Potter Hall and will be shown on Friday, Feb. 22. The story is about a band of sisters facing their first Christmas without the presence of their father who is off fighting in the Civil War.
For Morgan Mallory, capturing the authentic feel of the Civil War era is something the theater department hasn’t been faced with yet.
“This is especially different from Missouri Western. This show because we don’t necessarily have a lot of the pieces that look old timey,” Mallory said. “I know our costume designer has been building all of the pieces from scratch. Our set design kind of went all out with big projections.”
To give that dated feeling, Mallory says the play’s performers are a key element in portraying that time period.
“The actors are kind of doing their best in order to present this old world style that Missouri Western hasn’t done yet, so that’s kind of exciting,” Mallory said.
Senior Abby Wolff plays Amy March and is also a designer for the show. This play means a lot to her not only for her role, but the fact her designs will be used in the play.
“See, for me, the performance is not what I’m anxious about,” Wolff said. “This is the first time that my projection designs are going to be on stage. So the idea of my art being onstage for two and a half hours is a little nerve racking, but I’m excited to see how people respond to it, and then see how I can do better in the future with the design product like this.”
Wolff wants to bring more to her character than what is usually portrayed in other tellings of the story.
“It’s been incredible seeing the amount of growth in all the actors,” Wolff said. “Amy is a really special character for me because she often just played as a brat, and there’s a lot more to her. I hope that people are kind of able to see the heart of our characters because we worked really hard on making them very three dimensional and relatable to people in the audience.”
For Wolff, this is a huge opportunity for her.
“This is one of the bigger (plays) that I’ve done like Broadway style,” Wolff said. “This is also one of the larger roles I’ve played in any musical before, so it’s really cool.”
Allyson Bryson — who plays Jo March — is a big believer in teamwork when it comes to putting together a show, and everyone involved has a big role no matter what their designated expertise is.
“Any show you put together has lots of moving parts to make the magic happen, whether it’s people behind the scenes or people who help put on the show every night,” Bryson said. “It takes a lot of different people with different skill sets to take a show from an idea to reality.
Because there are so many aspects to this show, it takes a lot of different people to put it together, whether that’s actors, deck crew, dressers, orchestra or followspots.”
According to Bryson, if the whole crew isn’t in sync, then the production may be thrown off in a domino-type effect. She says a big factor in this is restlessness among the crew.
“By performance time, all of us have to be working in tandem with each other,” Bryson said. “If an actor misses a cue line, it could throw off the lights. If a costume change takes too long, an actors entrance could be delayed. For these reasons, there is a lot of accountability held on each participant. Each person handles nerves in different ways. For me, it usually doesn’t hit me until right before I go onstage, and then as the show goes on, they back off. But, nerves are different for everyone.”