Little Women: A Memorable Experience

Nora Shychuk

Photo by Grace Singer

Little Women opened Thursday, Oct. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Swisher Theatre at Jacksonville University. It had showings on Friday and Saturday, as well a Sunday matinee at 3:00 p.m.

The show began with Mr. Laurence (Alec Hadden, sophomore) “greeting” the crowd, warning everyone to turn off their cell phones and to enjoy the show. His booming, angry voice was hilarious and set the mood for the rest of the evening.

In comparison to the dress rehearsal, the actual show was even more of a treat. The costumes were completely finished, the set was gorgeous, and all of the actors were pitch perfect.

It was clear by the immense applause that the audience adored the production. There was a genuine feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment inside Swisher Theater.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the performance of Nikki Spies (Jo),” said senior Michele McGovern. “As far as the story, certain things changed from the book and movie, but the play kept the same feel, which I thought was really important.”

Maggie Moore, a senior and cast member of Little Women, elaborated on just how important it was to stay true to the original story.

“Working on Little Women was something I’ll never forget,” said Moore (Meg March). “Before the cast even began working onstage, we read the book and did lots of individual character research and analysis. When we did begin putting the show together, I found it easier to portray my character of Meg as a result of my work.”

It was clear that so much love went into this particular production.  It was extremely noticeable how much this show meant to the actors and crew as evidenced by the effort that was made by all. Little Women, while appealing to all of our emotions, also sought to make the audience have a blast and laugh.

“This production added quite a lot of genuine humor,” said senior Kaleigh Mullett. “It made us laugh while never losing sight of the main points and plot. I also thought that Professor Bhaer (Stephen Michael Johns) was very endearing.”

“Compared to the dress rehearsal, tonight’s show was so much better,” said Janae Lafleur. “Everything came together and was complete, which added to the show as a whole.”

It’s always nice to see a production like Little Women. Such a classic story carries a huge reputation and expectance from the audience, but it honestly did not disappoint in the slightest. It was impeccably well done.

“It was great,” said Lafleur. “The song where Beth dies made my eyes well up. Everyone did a wonderful job with their performances.”

A show like this does not come around often. Not only was the story and performances impressive, but the sheer time, care and work that was put into this production made it even more special to watch. Not to mention, there is so much to take away from Little Women.

“What strikes me the most about this story is the emphasis it puts on embracing the changes in life,” said Moore. “This is something I can really relate to as I will be graduating this year and beginning a new life apart from the one I’ve come to know at JU.”

While Little Women may have been a simple story, it was a simple story done brilliantly. It is sure to have stuck with the audience. Such a play truly illustrates the power and importance of the arts and what it can do for all of us. In the words of Jo March, it was truly… “astonishing.”