Little Women: A Timeless Tale

The theater department produces a one act play of “Little Women”


photo provided by Sarah Skaar

The March family sits altogether.

Four sisters. Four stories. Each one is carefully threaded together through love, loss, and family in the coming-of-age classic: “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. Studio VII recently took this story and brought it to life in their stellar UIL (University Interscholastic League) performance. 

Though the competition sailed smoothly and the team excelled onto the bi-district tournaments, putting the show together was challenging. Sophomore Gaby Melendez, who portrayed Amy March, found this play particularly different because it was her first dramatic one.

“I had trouble knowing whether I was over acting or not,” Melendez said. “In the end we got to our clinics, [and the clinician] told me to [not] be afraid of seeming too cartoonish because in the end, these aren’t actually real people. And that’s really what theater is for. People are going to want to have fun and want to see something they’re not used to seeing every day.”

The show and the characters themselves feel genuine in the way that they aren’t just two dimensional cardboard cutouts. Instead, the audience gets to grow with them and appreciate the naivety and flaws that come with life. The root of the production feels human, and that’s why it has the power to connect with the viewer. 

“I’ve noticed a lot of people say ‘this person’ is the villain, [and] you can’t ever like them,” Melendez said. “But the show has taught me that it isn’t so black and white. A lot of people see Amy as the villain, but the more I get to know her, the more I [see] she’s just a little girl who doesn’t know what she’s doing.”

Junior Charlotte McCarthy enthusiastically took on the fan favorite role of Beth March and discovered many special moments throughout the show – especially those which painted the beauty of sisterhood. She was able to connect with her character’s kind and intrinsic good nature.

“It’s the last line of the show, and it parallels the first line of the show where I’m telling Jo, the sister, to tell me another story,” McCarthy said. “A theme that’s throughout the show [is] Jo telling Beth these stories, and that’s very important to their family.”

The spirited sister Jo March was taken on by junior Kylie Hill, who has been passionate about this role – whether at callbacks or a packed auditorium. The portrayal of femininity, especially through Jo, is a standout in the show.

“Coming to an understanding of social norms for women, and that relation to my character is something I have really had to experiment with,” Hill said. “Through trial and error, I’ve been able to grow the Jo I have created.”

Meg March was enthusiastically played by junior Sydney Hanscom. Although a bit more witty and lighthearted than Meg, she captured the role with compassion and authenticity. 

“I love that Meg is such a romantic; I find that she and I are very similar in that way,” Hanscom said. “There are so many layers to her, but I find her heart just so compelling. It makes her such a beautiful character to play.”

The production also includes a painted portrait of the March family by sophomore Grace Abercrombie that took over 70 hours to create- done completely voluntarily. 

“It meant so much to us that she put as much passion into her painting as we do in our performance, and I think it really shows the community we’ve created in support of our production,” Hanscom said. 

Junior Melania Vasquez plays the warm character of Mrs. March (Marmee for short) along with Mrs. Mingott. As the wise and empathetic mother figure in the show, Marmee has taught Vasquez a strong message.

“I think that the way that she treats her children and the way that she pushes through her struggles is something that I really admire about her,” Vasquez said. “It’s okay to be vulnerable and it’s okay to rely on the people around you to get you through hardships and adversity.”

Besides long lived pre-show traditions between the cast and crew, Vasquez also has some rituals of her own.

“Just breathing on my own and taking a second to be grateful that I get to share this story really brings me mentally to the place that I need to be to perform,” Vasquez said.

Through connecting with each other and finding a love for the story, the theater department did justice to “Little Women” and conveyed its timeless message through and through.

“This cast and crew has really felt like its own family,” McCarthy said. “I think that comes from the fact that it is such a joyful show.”