BLHS students present ‘Little Women’
Basehor-Linwood High School students will become ladies and gentlemen of the 1800s this weekend in the on-stage version of the classic tale, "Little Women."
Adapted from the novel by Louisa May Alcott, the story features four sisters, their family and their different journeys through life and love with all its tragedies and successes set in New England in the 1860s.
Director Rebecca Knowles said she chose this particular play to go along with the literary theme of the year. The students put on the musical version of "Anne of Green Gables" in the fall.
"The response was generally, 'Oh yes, we want to do that' from the kids," she said. "Especially the girls, because most have read the book."
The cast and crew have been working on the play since the beginning of the semester, Knowles said.
One of the biggest challenges to work around was the number of days the students were not in school because of inclement weather. While the cast usually has about six weeks of rehearsals, all of the snow days in the past couple of weeks cut practice down to about five weeks.
The shortened rehearsal time along with the play's length of four acts made it particularly difficult.
"This is a larger play than we usually do," Knowles said. "We usually do a two act, so it's been a challenge doing one that's twice as long as usual."
Junior Hannah Rollwagen plays the part of Jo March, the headstrong sister. Her dear friend throughout the show, Theodore Laurence or "Laurie," is played by senior Kyle Allen. Both said they have been involved in theatre productions in the past, so learning lines and becoming the characters is nothing new to them.
"You just review whenever you can, kind of wing it and learn from your mistakes," Allen said about practicing.
"I would practice out loud," Rollwagen said. "It really helps to do it with the actions."
"Once you put it with the actions, it comes together," Allen said.
Both said one of their favorite moments in the play is a fight scene between their two characters. Jo and Laurie get into an argument after Laurie confesses his love to Jo and Jo thinks they are not good for one another.
"It seems the most real, I think," Rollwagen said.
"We go through such a broad range of emotions all through the scene," Allen said.
Other characters in the production include sisters Meg, Beth and Amy March, played by Christina Self, Nicole Theno and Brittany Laney respectfully; Mr. and Mrs. March portrayed by Justin Wintermute and Andrea Adcox; Aunt March played by Emily Lackner; family friend and father to Laurie, James Lawrence, played by Michael Morris; John Brooke and Professor Friedrich Bhaer, portrayed by Andrew Oller and Jack Morris; and the family's servant, Hannah Mullett played by Chelsea Pike.
The cast and crew spent Tuesday evening running through the play for the first time with all of the multiple costume changes, entrances, sound, lights and curtain cues.
Knowles said they would be ready for opening night Friday.
"They'll be ready," she said. "I can tell that they can get through it without me calling lines. Overall it went fairly smoothly for the first time with all of that."
On with the show
¢ Basehor-Linwood High School's production of "Little Women" will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, and Saturday, Feb. 16, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, in the BLHS auditorium. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and children.