|LITTLE WOMEN - STAGE PRODUCTION
Written and Directed by
A Family Friendly
Play that chronicles the novel Little Women –
AusNotebook Music & Creative.
Little Women is a classic novel by American
author, Louisa May Alcotts written in 1868. It is
based on the childhood experiences of the author.
The four main characters are siblings Jo,
(Meg), May (Amy) and Elizabeth (Beth) who grow up
during the American Civil War in New England, USA. It is a tale of morality,
following the lives of the sisters. It also focuses
on the importance of family, God and love, the
lessons of life, its struggles and joys and the
death of loved ones.
The Novel was first adapted to stage on Broadway
in 1912, and again in 1916 and 1931. It has been
adapted for Opera by
Mark Adamo in 1998, as a Broadway musical in
2005, made into a film four times, and nine
additional versions have been noted.
Starring Kathryn Marquet, Judy Hainsworth,
and introducing Tammy Weller as the four March girls.
interpret the American Civil War to be the antagonist because it
challenges and transforms the characters. This notion, however, was
not explored on this occasion. We are made aware of the War through
a few brief scenes and placards that read “Civil War” and “Lincoln
Attacks Slavery” that make up part of the set. The impact of war is
somewhat sidelined and its entire dramatic potential is, in my
Butler's treatment of war focuses on the
“absence father figure and how women shoulder responsibility of the
father figure”. The novel has a sense of naivety, which
Butler retains in her
treatment of the work, thus honouring the author's intention.
The play swings
from melodrama to verging on musical theatre and back again. At
times it utilizes theatrical devises of Bretchian Theatre, which are
common in Contemporary Theatre praxis. We are given the veneer of
the characters, rather than explorations into their deeper conflicts
and subsequent transformation. Butler makes use of the entire stage, bouncing the fictional
space over four areas throughout the play. This frolic aligns us
with the playfulness and innocence of the four girls.
showcases the depth of talent in the Harvest Rain Theatre Company.
Norman Doyle as Frieddrich /Mr Laurence /Mr March; Belinda Heit
as Hannah / Mrs Hummel /Mrs Kirke give honest and earnest
performances. Keep your eyes on Kathryn Marquet as Jo March
and Pauline Campton as Marmee. These actors are already
accomplished performers. In fact, the entire cast is enjoyable to
watch and highly skilled professionals.
familiar with Little Women will delight in recounting the
antics of the four sisters from this childhood classic novel. This
is definitely a production for the entire family.
love literature, I am a massive reader attracted to familiar
stories I would like to see on stage.” For Joanna, she sees
the characters in the play as “incredibly modern” and
“family relationships are instantly recognizable”.
adaptation, the play focuses on the sibling adventures and
their womanhood. As well as enjoying the novel as a child,
Joanna says she is on a “mission to provide roles for female
actresses. There are wonderful female actresses around...
I've always loved the story”. For Joanna “ the crux of the
story is when Laurie proposes to Jo” and how the girls “go
through life together” then the “family splits and have to
has remained true to the novel. She has staged events taken
from chapters of this classic tale. These are a flurry of
short scenes interspaced by narratives making this a
The play runs
from Friday 27th April, 2007 till Saturday, 12th
May, 2007. 7.30pm start. Run time is 2 hours with a 20 minute
interval. Harvest Rain Theatre,
Sydney Street, New Farm. Check
out harvestrain.com.au for further details.
Butler's favourite charity is
Compassion which helps children overseas with
ongoing sponsorship. What appeals to Joanna about this
organization is that they “work with children, give children
a better life and educate them”. She also supports the
Mercy Ministries who
help “girls in crisis with a house” and provide “a 6 to 9
Article written by
Pauline Sheldrake for AusNotebook Music & Creative (28/4/07)
(Photos courtesy of The Shock Factor)
here for more
information about Joanna Butler
Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Edited by E.D. Hirsch, Jr., Joseph F. Kett, and James Trefil.
Copyright Â© 2002 by
Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
information about Little Women
Notes on Novels
information about Little Women
Â© 2006 through a partnership of
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