FLHS Masques Presents: Little Women

By Kayla Davis

Photo Credit: flhsmasques on Instagram


On November 15th, I had the pleasure of seeing the Fair Lawn Masques adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women. They performed the play written by Kate Hamill and I got to view it on opening night. The play's plot revolves around the lives of four sisters, all having unique and distinct personalities. The play takes place during the Civil War and this was obvious due to the set and costumes. 


When I entered the auditorium, I was greeted and shown to my seat by fellow peers who were part of the stage crew. The scene I saw before me was smaller than I expected, but it added a nice, comfortable feeling to the experience. As I sat down in my seat, I viewed the set in front of me which consisted of a living room set up. The furniture was fitting for the whole aesthetic of the play from the piano in the corner to the red roses painted on the chairs. 


The play was set to begin at 7:00, but people were still entering after that, so it began at about 7:08. I didn’t mind the wait though seeing as everyone was given a straightforward and well structured playbill to view. The playbill consisted of a director's note and “About the Cast.” It was easy to read as well as interesting. 


When the actors started speaking, I had no trouble hearing them, as all the annunciation was done well. Everyone spoke with perfect volume and I understood what was being said. The lighting set the mood throughout the play and was executed well. It dimmed and got brighter at the right moments reflecting what was going on with the plot. When there were props being moved around, the stage crew was discrete and undisruptive. 


Throughout the whole play, I could tell that the actors enjoyed the time they put in and had a bond with each other. All the acting was extremely well done and professional, it was fun to see my peers playing different roles. While all the actors did amazing, I wanted to showcase the FLHS junior who played Amy March. Everytime she was on the stage people laughed and I could tell she really enjoyed her character. The actress had really good annunciation and volume–as did the rest of the cast. Overall, the casting was perfectly done and everyone fit their role. The FLHS senior who played Jo captured Jo’s quirkiness and essence very well, I enjoyed her for the part. The FLHS junior who played Meg really took on the older sister role her character is portrayed as. Every character was perfectly casted from Beth’s kindness to Laurie’s helpful and fun nature. 


After seeing the show, I had the pleasure of interviewing the director of the show, Ms. Gormley. I asked her a few questions regarding the show…


Q: Why did you decide on the play Little Women?

A: Ms. Gormley said she had heard about the playwright, Kate Hamill who had been rewriting classics. She explained she loved the more modern take on the character Jo, but also the fact she stayed true to the character's origin. 


Q: What do you look for while casting a show?

A: When casting a show, Ms. Gormley explained that she mainly looks for things that make people stand out. When students are auditioning, she said she looks for people who are well-read and make interesting choices (both of which make those actors stand out). 


Q:What were some challenges during the making of the play?

A: When asked this, Ms. Gormley paused for a moment then continued by saying it’s a long play. The show is about two hours long, which required a lot of work and practice. She also mentioned that casting was difficult because many people showed up to the audition. For this reason, they added the double cast so that this show was cast as widely as they could. The last struggle of the play she mentioned to me was the fact that they had to make it feel historical. From the setting, to props, to costumes, to just the overall feeling of the performance. 


Q:If you could play a character from Little Women, who would it be?

A: Ms. Gormley started off by saying it was a difficult question, but ultimately she’d choose Meg. She said she would most likely play Meg because she feels as if she relates to her. She also said she really enjoys Meg in the jam scene which contributed to her response.


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