Little Women - January 28 - February 06, 2022

Janesville Performing Arts Center

    Director's Note    

Louisa May Alcott’s tale of The March Sisters has been delighting readers for over 150 years. I was first introduced to “Little Women” by my own grandmother, Hazel Nash, who would read me a chapter (or five upon my BEGGING to know what happened next) at bedtime. Eventually, I began learning to read to the novel because no “See Jane Run” could ever possibly hold my attention like the adventures of Jo March. Having no sisters, I would imagine what it would be like to have the camaraderie of sisters of my very own. Every girl who has ever picked up the novel or seen one of the many film adaptions can easily place herself within one of the March Sisters. Alcott made these characters so vivid for us. There was never any question of intention in any of her characters. We fell in love with Meg’s romantic nature, Jo’s spirit, Beth’s kindness, and Amy’s ridiculous brattiness as the baby of the family. I always fancied myself a “Jo March”. However, secretly knowing I embodied quite a bit more “Amy” than I’d ever care to admit. My love for “Little Women” never left me as I grew into adulthood. I’ve seen every film adaption ever made at least ten times each. I watch the 1933 Katharine Hepburn version and 1994 Winona Ryder version every holiday season. It’s like visiting old friends. We may not have seen each other in awhile, but we pick up right where we left off. I think that’s what makes this piece of Americana so special. It is timeless. This story means so much to so many and has for over a century. In a time where female authors were not on the same playing field as their male counterparts - Alcott persevered and rose above the stigma. Not just as an author. She was a known abolitionist and feminist in a time where both were taboo. She believed in equal rights and was fighting some of the same fights we are still fighting today. She didn’t have the same freedoms we have backing us today though… she had a pen, some parchment, and the talent to make the world listen in her own unique way. And listen we did. We are sitting in our seats today to hear and watch her story again… because we love it 150 years later. Regardless if you have been a lifelong fan of “Little Women” or are sitting here tonight experiencing the story for the first time - Please know you are now a part of this beautiful legacy. You will laugh at Amy. You will cheer Jo on. Marmee will make you clutch your pearls and catch your breath. It’s ok to cry! That is what this story does to you. It moves you. It changes you. As I wipe a tear from my cheek writing this for you all - I ask you to embrace the March Family and FEEL. Be a part of their journey. That’s what Miss Alcott set out to do in 1868. That’s what we set out to do for you today. To all the little girls in the audience today, I want you to walk away knowing this - Be ASTONISHING. In every way you can possibly be. Softly. Boldly. Kindly. Savagely. We are listening and watching. You are never alone… Your great adventure has begun. 

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