When Perseverance Theatre mounts its production of Little Women this April, it might look a little different from the beloved 1994 film. This version from playwright Kate Hamill (Wall Street Journal’s 2017 Playwright of the Year), brings contemporary insights to the classic novel.
“It’s reflective of the communities we live in and serve. In this production, we see characters challenging the impositions they face based on their gender and societal expectations,” says Rio Alberto, Director of Marketing and Engagement for Perseverance Theatre.
Is Meg actually battling postpartum depression, in addition to the challenges she faces adapting to her life as the stay-at-home wife of a school teacher? Is there more to learn from Amy’s hyper-focus on wealth? Could it be a trauma-response to her childhood in poverty? In the original novel both Jo and Laurie grapple with gender expectations around work and marriage, a theme the artists explore more deeply in this production.
“This version also addresses Robert March’s participation in the Civil War, and the questions around Northern soldiers going to the South to fight. Sometimes when we look back at history we over-simplify The North as a progressive space, but the reality was more nuanced.”
Since Artistic Director Leslie Ishii joined Perseverance Theatre in 2019, the organization has devoted more time and energy to the depth of each production, producing slightly fewer shows throughout the year.
“Our shows are still beautiful, and there is a depth to that beauty as well,” Alberto says. “We do have a national reputation but we operate and reside in a smaller community, and we’re constantly looking for ways to be of service to this community.”
Watch Little Women in Juneau this April!
Like most venues, the Perseverance Theatre adapted their programming in response to pandemic precautions over the past three years. They are excited to now be back to full capacity — no masks or proof of vaccination required.
“Humans are communal creatures, and there’s real power in gathering together and sharing our stories. To be in the same space with someone and share that exploration of the human experience is to really see that person, and really be seen,” Alberto says.
For Alaskans who can’t make the trip to see the show in person, Little Women will also be available via video on demand, captured from three cameras and edited together for an immersive experience.
Three ways to watch Little Women this spring:
- Perseverance Theatre, Juneau: April 7 – 23. Tickets are $45; buy yours online or at the door.
- Video-on-demand: April 14 – 30. Tickets are $10 or pay-as-you-can, purchase online.
- Preview at the theatre: April 6, 7:30 p.m. Pay-as-you-can ($10 recommended) at the door.
Learn more at ptalaska.org.
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Little Women by Kate Hamill, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, Directed by Cara Hinh:
Jo longs to be a writer and travel the world. Meg hopes to marry a respectable man and start a family. Amy wishes she could hurry and grow up already. And Beth just wants everyone to be happy. In this fresh take on a classic coming of age story, the beloved March sisters grow up against the backdrop of the Civil War. Accompanied by the rich boy next door, the temperamental aunt, the stuffy tutor, the devoted mother, and a surprising amount of fake mustaches, Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth navigate their way through poverty, loss, and society’s expectations. Named Playwright of the Year by the Wall Street Journal in 2017, Kate Hamill expertly adapts a heartwarming and empowering tale of young women finding their way in the world.
The runtime of the show is approximately two hours with one intermission.