Louisa May Alcott, author of the novel “Little Women” will have the play performed by Sumner high school students tonight at 7 pm, tomorrow at 2 pm and 7 pm at the Sumner High School’s Performing Arts Center located at 1707 Main Street Sumner, WA 98390. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students and seniors.
Rachel Street, director of the play “Little Women” at Sumner High School, explained what the play is about, “The Little Women production is about four girls that grow up through time with their love stories and tragedy they bond and grow together to these different life experiences they become free thinking and ready to conquer the world in the 1860’s. It’s not based on a true story and is not a musical. It’s very similar to families back then Jo, one of the characters, is about breaking the mold of how women should act and wants to fight in the army during Civil War. It brings up issues that are a little more current. She wants to write books, she reads and writes, and is a complete Tom Boy.”
Rachel commented on what she thinks of the play, “I think it’s a really good production; what I mean is that there are two really tight casts that are ready for production and really good leads that feed off each other. Through the process, they really develop their own character. Many of the roles were double cast and the actors had to establish how to portray their character. We’ve got two shows done two different ways depending on who is playing who on each night.
Both casts are very strong.
This is my eighth year working here and they did this play many years in the past, but it’s been 15 years since they played it I really like to mix it up and I’ve never repeated a show and did 13 shows in 8 years.”
Rachel discussed the best thing about the play, “The relationships formed between the girls; the whole play centers around the girls growing from each other through their struggles. I think the best part is growing and building from each other off stage and how close they become and how they can be torn apart. The one on one scenes together can go back and forth like a tennis match that feed off from each other.”
Rachel revealed what many people may not know about the play, “There are more crew members working on show than actors, which is very unusual. There was so much interest that a lot of people were not cast and lot of people wanted to be back stage. I’ve taken six students and made them back stage crew and 18 students into house crew. House crew is in charge of programs, posters, concessions/tickets, and set up. It’s a first time for Sumner high school to be involved in crew, which is opening up doors for what crew will be at our high school.”
Rachel mentioned how this play was unique compared to other high school plays, “This play is unusual to do at a high school. It’s usually a lot more roles, for example, 30 roles on stage with small roles. This play is different as almost every person has a really big role that is much longer and more in-depth. This experience is different as the actors have more stage time to develop their character.”
When asked who she recommended attend the play, Rachel replied, “A lot of people I see interested in this play are adults that can connect because they’ve read “Little Women” growing up. I know a lot of teachers that have said “That’s my favorite book and I’ve read it 16 times. I know everything about Jo and want to see it come to life on stage versus the book or the movie they see with Winona Ryder. I would say an adult population would be most interested, especially females.”
For more information, please call: Rachel Street at: 253 891-5500. “I love watching how the student actors in the play can become so close with each other and do become a family. These student actors come from all walks of life: transfer students, young students that have new born babies at home, all issues under the sun, and they come together to become a family and watch the boundaries break down and nervousness develops into relationships…from a hug to them saying to each other, “Can’t wait to see each other.” They are nervous and excited at the same time, watching the trust with these individuals is really exciting.
What I also find interesting about the play is that all the costumes are done by three of the actors that have become very attached to the costumes; there is a lot of ownership there. The whole show is run by the students from the stage manager, lighting, to costumes, to the set building and painting, which is all student driven,” Rachel concluded.
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com