A Glimpse of What’s to Come

A Review of CHS’ Little Women


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An illustration of a theatre or theater stage and seating with footlights and red curtains

Jake Hall, Writer, Assistant Editor

On January 13th, Cartersville Theatre department put on a rendition of Little Women. Using Allan Knee’s musical adaptation of the quintessential Louis May Alcott novel, the cast and crew spent two and a half hours dazzling an audience composed of everyone from Superintendent Feuerbach down to bespectacled freshmen and best friends prouder than the parents next to them. This successful production was the result of seven weeks of toiling work. But for those actors on stage, this round of rambunctious applause came after years of granite-strong dedication. 

In the midst of that rambunctious applause, you may see a graceful actress, rising to her role on stage. I, however, see a little girl I’m waiting to play tag with. You probably see a commanding actor, seizing the audience with his stage prowess. I, though, see a little boy copying my English homework.  

High school is a strange time. Not because of prom dresses and cheating boyfriends as one may think, but because you begin to see who your friends really are. You’ve seen these people when they were eight, before they could even divide. You were the first person to hear about their monkey-bar crush. You’ve seen them cry, punch, scream and jump. They’ve grown literal feet before your eyes. But you never realized you were watching a miracle—because you were a part of it. For each time you saw them slip in the hallway, they saw you trip at recess.  

But there are moments when you realize the miracle, see them beyond grade school stereotypes. That is what makes high school strange– when your dear friends get up on stage and perform Little Women like they’re on Broadway. 

For all intents and purposes, it was Broadway. ‘Proper set design’ does not come to mind when thinking of High School theatre and yet, CHS pulled it off with a set that not only required skill to build but was also quite charming. The set itself was a pair of staircases connecting to an attic situated over a fireplace. With specific characters using a specific set of stairs and placing the attic always behind the central character, Cartersville did not forgo symbolism like other schools would. 

What would a well-designed set be without well-designed costumes? This play featured outfits seemingly plucked straight from 1868. No oddly shiny bit of plastic or ill-fitting dress that looks more like a shower curtain than a corset. No costume—no matter how long or short it spent on stage—was overlooked. 

Neither was casting. Proper casting can easily be the final push a play needs to make it stellar. Of course, any talented actor can play a multitude of roles, but there are certain characters that certain thespians melt into. Thankfully, CHS’s drama teacher, Ms. Moody, appears more than capable of assigning the right roles to the right students. 

But of course, how can you cast correctly without talented actors? Gabby Coleman in the role of Jo March was simply terrific. She filled every line but was restrained enough to rarely overact. The same could be said about each of the March sisters. Elysa Tindal as Amy conveyed the character’s development (which is a central part of the plot) quite well. Emma Wilson as Meg gave the role the exact dynamics of sternness and gentleness the part required. Morgan Grinage as Beth brought just the right amount of giddiness and youth to the stage we needed to see. Beyond the acteresses, Patrick Gardner and Cainen Crowder possess potential as both performed well in their respective roles of Mr. Laurence and John Brooke. Besides the occasional stuck line or scene lacking enough depth on their part, each thespian performed well beyond expectations.  

Especially in the realm of choreography. Every movement had been thought of. From the full dance routines to the dismissive pacing of Haley Dufrene as Aunt March, each gesture and step was artfully executed. In fact, the entire play was artfully executed. 

No element of the production, from the singing to the lighting, was done haphazardly, which is ultimately the goal with a high school production. Of course, all of this talent wouldn’t have flourished without the seamless skills of the run crew, light operator, and sound operator. Minimal hiccups at this showing!  

So, besides a mistake here and there—such as not setting up the frame narrative cleanly or singing that was at times over the top—watching CHS’ rendition of Little Women was a better way to spend a Friday than say, watching the Canes vs. Cass basketball game. 

After all, I never played elementary school kick ball with those future athletes; I was too busy playing house with those future thespians.