PLAY REVIEW: Greenville High School’s ‘Little Women’ a show for all ages


By Lori Hansen • Last Updated 12:11 pm on Thursday, February 16, 2012
If you go …
What: Greenville High School Theater Department’s production of “Little Women”
Where: Greenville High School Performing Arts Center
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Tickets: $6
Cast
Josephine “Jo” March: Emily Smith; Margaret “Meg” March: Lizzy VanderLaan; Amy March: Meagan Draper; Elizabeth “Beth” March: Ana Holmes; Margaret “Marmee” March: Macy Risch; Hannah Mullet: Sarah Wheat; Mr. Laurence: Tyler DeGood; Theodore “Laurie” Laurence: Jared Loomis; John Brooke: Danny Hansen; Aunt March: Taylor Hedrick; Laborers: Kirk Dickson and Dale Talmage; Mr. March: Jonah Hitchings; Tina: Abby Jo Donnelly; Professor Friedrich Bhaer: Skye Hayes; Understudies: Kirk Dickson, Alisha Gatchel and Dale Talmage.
Adult Staff
Stage Director Laurie Timm; Technical Director/Set Design Chris Chapman; Assistant Technical Director Timothy Schmidt; Costumer Sandy Fonger; Makeup Director and Production Coordinator Cheryl Willard.
Crew
Stage Manager Jacky Hilliker; Assistant Stage Manager Megan Robinson; Scenic: Kerri Bauer, Elayna Huber, Deserai Kent, Emily Mulder, Brittany Rhodes, Kelsea Silvernail, Matt Wilhelm, Brittney Carskadon and Anna Stanford; Sound: Courtney Colthurst and Greg Pribble; Lights: Kelsey Fonger and Mike Neislsen; Props: Brittany Bassett, Lorin McDonald and Kaitly Wietsman; Costume: Justin Barr, Emily Hyde and Theresa Moore; Makeup: Taylor Bergeron, Jacky Hilliker, Kristina Magoon and Theresa Moore; Prompter: Tristen Wheeler.

Laurie (Jared Loomis) with Meg (Lizzy VanderLaan), Jo (Emily Smith), Amy (Meagan Draper) and Beth (Ana Holmes) tries to convince the March sisters to let him join them in acting out Jo’s plays. — Daily News/Lori Hansen

 

Louisa May Alcott wanted to write so her stories could be told years and years later.

The Greenville High School Theater Department brings to life her classic “Little Women” in performances slated for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Greenville High School Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are $6 across the board and are available at the door, Hansen’s Music House or online at www.greenville.k12.mi.us.

“There are many different versions of the story available in play productions, and we chose this one for several reasons,” said Stage Director Laurie Timm, “This one used a bigger cast, which made opportunities for more kids to participate. We liked the way Act Two has Jo in New York City.

“We did ‘Grease’ earlier this year and now got to go to a different era with ‘Little Women,’” she added. “The period costumes and the war were a part of history and the kids now have a better understanding of life during that time period.”

The detail to costumes and the simple, yet elaborate set are a credit to the crew while fine diction and poise of the actors adds to the professionalism.

“It is definitely a family-oriented production where the younger ones can be introduced to the story and the older ones can identify with it,” Timm said.

The production begins by introducing the audience to the March sisters — graceful Meg, spirited Jo, delicate Beth and pampered Amy. Played by Lizzy VanderLaan, Emily Smith, Ana Holmes and Meagan Draper, the four seasoned actresses are vibrant and dynamic in their varying roles.

The girls talk of what they would like for Christmas, things like gowns and books and paints, when sweet, meek Beth shares the best Christmas present would be for Father to come home from the war.

“I’m so lucky to have four sisters who are so wonderful but so different in their own way,” says Marmee, played by Macy Risch.

The girls’ world is changed when they are introduced to their new, wealthy neighbor Mr. Laurence, his son Theodore “Laurie” Laurence and the tutor John Brooke. The girls’ roles are strengthened by the supporting actors. Jared Loomis handles the role of Laurie with an assured composure, Tyler DeGood carries off the respected Mr. Laurence and Danny Hansen makes a dashing Mr. Brooke.

Other characters, such as Aunt March, portrayed strongly by Taylor Hedrick, Mr. March, played confidently by Jonah Hitchings, and Skye Hayes as a comical, yet sensitive Professor Friedrich Bhaer, round out the major characters.

The girls go through trials, such as hearing their father is wounded, sweet Beth’s illness and sisterly spats.

“Do you really think I could hate you? Not when you are my sister,” Jo forgives a naughty Amy.
The audience watches as the girls mature with Jo protesting.

“Why does everyone have to grow up?Why does everything have to change? Why can’t it stay the same way things were and we would be this happy?” she fusses.

“Little Women” is a delightful show for all ages.

Correspondent Lori Hansen is a Greenville area resident.

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