Bringing a familiar tale about characters who feel like family, Oxford High theater students are taking the story of “Little Women” to the stage this week. The play follows the March sisters as they trek through life and love over the years.
The main characters of the March sisters will be played by MacKenzie Finley as Jo March, Janelle Grech as Meg March, Emma Kerbelis as the young Amy March, Brooke Mandzik as Beth March and Lauren Schiller as the older Amy March. Kaleigh Rogers will play the ladies’ Marmee March.
“It’s a story that a lot of people connect with because it’s such a classic story, but also because of the relationships,” said Krista Price, Oxford High’s theater director and the director of the show.
Price chose “Little Women” as the fall play because of the morals the story holds. In the turbulent times in which we live, she hopes the March sisters will remind the audience of what binds people together.
“The thing I really like about ‘Little Women’ is (that) it’s a reminder of civility, and of family and of the simple things that make a big difference in the quality of your life,” Price said. “I think we can use more of that right now in our country. And, of course, it’s a classic story that a lot of people know and love.”
To accentuate this, Price and her cast will do a number of things. The seating for this show will have a more intimate feel and, without giving any surprises away, will immerse the audience in the characters’ world. On top of this, the audience will be greeted with especially relevant quotes from both the play and the book plastered on the theater walls.
“The audience with actually be seated on the stage… The audience will kind of surround the actors,” Price said. “It’s staged very differently than a lot of stuff we do. For me, I think it’s because this is a story that needs to be told close up.”
In the making of the show, Price has most enjoyed working with her adolescent cast and watching them learn from their characters in the ways they all hope the audience will.
“I enjoy working with high schoolers who are finding themselves while they’re finding a character,” she said. “There’s aspects of these characters that they really connect with and others that they struggle with, and (I like) going on that journey together with them.”
Even though the play is mostly about Victorian-era women, Price thinks the story holds something for every kind of viewer. She says her male cast members have been pleasantly surprised with how much they can relate to and learn from the characters they portray.
“It’s really easy to connect with these characters even though it’s a period show,” Price said.
“Little Women” is showing Nov. 15-17 at 7 p.m. and on Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Oxford High School Performing Arts Center.
Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults. Students who attend the 2 p.m. Nov. 17 performance can get in for free with a student ID.
Seating is limited, as the immersive experience allows for just 75 seats a show.
Tickets can be purchased at OHS Performing Arts Center Box Office.