There were many reasons to put on “Little Women.”
“The story is familiar and it’s a nice way to encourage people of the community to see shows at Firelands and see what we can do in our tiny space,” said director Grechen Lynne Wingerter. Auditions were open to the community as well; not only students.
Want to go?
WHAT: “Little Women the Broadway Musical”
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. April 11, 12 & 13; 2 p.m. April 13 & 14
WHERE: McBride Auditorium, BGSU Firelands Campus, 1 University Dr., Huron
COST: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $6 for students
There are community members involved on the stage and behind the scenes such as choreographer Pamela Shirtz and her husband, Michael, the musical director. Wingerter also realized that more women than men would be available and knew “Little Women the Broadway Musical” would be a perfect fit.
Rachel McLaughlin, who snagged the part of up and coming writer, Jo, attends classes at Firelands but is still in high school at Edison. “Jo is very independent, courageous, strong, loving, complicated, and hard to explain in simple words,” said McLaughlin of her character.
She never read the book but says the script gave her everything she needed to delve into the character. Plus, she had heard the score of this musical and thought it was phenomenal.
One actress brought an added talent as a bonus for the director. Mackenzie Kightlinger is playing the fragile March sister, Beth, who is talented at playing the piano. Although it wasn’t a requirement in order to get the part, Kightlinger has been playing the piano since she was about 8 years old, learning by ear.
She’s currently a freshman at Firelands in the arts program where, in addition to acting, she writes, draws and even designed the poster being used for the musical. “It’s kinda easy to feel sisterly toward Rachel and Abby since we have classes together and have become friends,” said Kightlinger. “The hardest part is to play so sweet and kind [as Beth is]… I have to take away a lot of myself in order to get a good feeling where I’m able to grasp the character,” she added.
The senior theatre/business major playing Jo’s love interest, Professor Bhaer is Cody Noon. “There is a great development of this character,” said Noon about why he wanted to play the Professor, even though the male character most remembered from “Little Women” is Laurie. On another note, as actor Noon said, “there are cast members from high school, college and adults and I like how we all work together. I’m gaining insight on different techniques.”
There are 21 in the cast in all including understudies who will also get their moment to shine as well.