About Little Women
About the show: Share this timeless and enduring classic about the March sisters’ journey from childhood to maturity during the American Civil War. Audiences of all generations will enjoy acquainting — or reacquainting — themselves with the sisters: Meg, the eldest; Jo, the high-spirited tomboy; Amy, the self-centered beauty; and gentle Beth, as well as their beloved Marmee and Father. Together the March family learns to endure both good times and bad as they share the joys and pains of growing up.
From the Director: This is essentially a new art form. We have thrown all our expertise at it like champion swimmers suddenly being asked to free solo rock climb! The motivation to do that comes straight from the usual theatre passion to share, but this time from our homes, our desks and closets. Lighting, set, costumes - simple as they are - were selected with creative care and plenty of improvisational problem-solving. Any technical difficulties/hiccups will - we hope - remind all that the unexpected is part of the wonder and fascination with LIVE theatre.
And a much larger concept, one we keep juggling decade after decade. Why bother? Our society keeps trying to brush off the significance of the arts all the while consuming them feverishly. So what is the use of ART?? Among the more important answers to that exhausting question: it exercises our imagination and the ability to imagine is something that sets humans apart from other species. Imagination is more important right now than it was even 6 months ago - it soothes and distracts, it is the engine of hope, it reveals solutions, it gives us cause to admire and celebrate human beings. This particular iteration of theatre requires more imagination from the audience, but that's cool - important exercise!.
In anticipation of directing Little Women, I re-read Little Women. As I read, I kept asking myself: What really interests me about Little Women, this famous, famous book with a slightly weak title? A favorite E.M. Forster quote kept bubbling to mind: “Failure and success seem to have been allotted to men by their stars. But they retain the power of wriggling, of fighting with their star or against it and in the whole universe the only really interesting thing is this wriggle. - E.M. Forster
In short, it’s the psychology of the characters, the vitality of the relationships, the wriggling that captures my attention. Within the story, we see individuals wriggling with society (individual purpose and happiness vs. stereotypes, conformity). Emotional and mental wealth wriggles in competition with material wealth. The sisters wriggle with their own mistakes, failings, ambitions and find enough space inside the family’s unconditional love to turn that wriggle into stability.
Alcott herself wriggled with her star. She had an adventurous, progressive spirit – not an easy fit easily with 19th century gender roles. She wrote Little Women out of financial need. Her father was a well-intentioned man but could never provide a stable income. Louisa assured her family’s financial stability with the book but she thought it dull and was puzzled by its success. She did find more daring ways to make her mark. For instance, she was deeply involved in the women’s suffrage movement. There is no doubt that the character of Jo is the embodiment of Alcott’s own wriggling.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, a close friend of the Alcott family, said, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” This, I think, is a most interesting and vital wriggle.
Asheville Community Theatre
Since 1946, Asheville Community Theatre has been delighting audiences with high quality performances, making us the oldest continuously operating theatre in Asheville and one of the oldest community theatres in the nation.
Our mission is to provide entertainment, enrichment and education through the practice and celebration of the theatre arts. Our vision is for the theatre to be an integral part of the community.