Little Women Review

“I think the show was incredibly successful. I’ve talked to tons of people who’ve gone and they’ve all enjoyed it. We had a great turnout, and our director was really happy” Alison Baranovic ‘16 (Stage Manager).

The On-Stage Players latest endeavor was to tackle Peter Chaplain’s adapted version of Little Women on November 21 and 22, in the Bethel High School auditorium. And this spring, they’re off to the Halo Awards for a 3rd year in a row.

The calculated and well-constructed performance was made in part of the casts, however, the cast devoted a significant amount of time to put the production together. “We’ve been working since almost the beginning of the year, staying after school basically everyday working on our lines. Last week we were here since around 5 o’clock and left at 10:41 for dress rehearsal,” explains Kathryn Griffin ’16 (understudy for Marmee March).

“We are definitely going to the Halo’s this year,” exclaims Jennifer Cote ‘16, who played Aunt March in this year’s fall drama, “It is a general theater award show that includes both musicals and plays.” Cote is a veteran when it comes to the Halo Awards, as she has won Best Comedic Performance from a Female Actress in June 2013 for her work in Murder is a Game.

Cote goes on to explain that, “A judge watched us on Friday night, so our cast members have a chance to be nominated for numerous different awards.” This judge surely added a considerable amount of stress to the tense cast. But even under the added pressure, the cast managed to perform up to my high expectations.

The fall drama is a coming-of-age story in Civil War era America which emphasizes the importance of family. The story chronicles the lives of the March family Marmee (Kelly Roper ’14), Meg (Natalia Stifano ’14), Jo (Shami Khoshabo ’16), Amy (Sara Rochmacher ’15), and Beth (Danielle Hector ‘16); as they grow up and encounter new experiences while their father Mr. March (Mitch Ryan ‘14) is off in the war. All the while, learning to love and appreciate what they have in life.

The play was directed by former Spanish teacher at Bethel High School, Mr. Ciro Franco, who devotes his time to the school’s On-Stage Players program. Cote notes that, “Our director felt very confident in the play’s success this year.”

And what a success it was. The play, which debuted on November 21st and 22nd at 7pm, concluded with a considerably large turnout with a positive reaction from the audience. As the cast triumphantly translated one of the most popular children’s novels ever written into a tangible and emotional drama. The extremely lengthy performance, with a run time of two-and-a-half hours, was every bit funny, tragic, and heartwarming as the original text. The cast members themselves gave electrifying and believable renditions of their characters. All the while, highlighting the internal struggles of family life in 19th century America, encapsulated in the midst of a civil war. It was almost hard to imagine that this was only a high school dramatization.

Look forward to the On-Stage Players this spring, for their annual children’s theater production.

The extended cast includes: Isabel Brooks ‘15 as Hannah, Jonathan Wild ’16 as Laurie, Sean Gorman ’16 as Mr. Laurence, Thomas Smith ’16 as Mr. Brooke, Kerri Earle ’14 as prop manager, Alison Baranovic ’15 as stage manager, Kathryn Griffin ’16 as understudy for Meg March, and Mark Tully ’16 as understudy for Mr. March.

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