Brind School Closes 2011-2012 Season with 'Little Women'

Students will present a new adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott classic novel for one weekend only, May 4 - 6

April 24, 2012

Students from the University of the Arts will present a new adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women in the Caplan Studio Theater for one weekend only, May 4 – 6. Adapted by Philadelphia playwright and Brind School faculty member Jacqueline Goldfinger, this production will conclude the 2011-2012 performance season of the Ira Brind School of Theater Arts.

"Little Women" is the story of the March family and their struggle to cope with change and hardship in the era of the American Civil War. Four spirited sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy – pursue their dreams with the support of their devoted mother, Marmee, and the friendship of their neighbors, in a classic tale that mingles equal measures of joy and heartbreak.

Maureen Sweeney, director of Education at the Philadelphia Theater Company, has joined the Brind School faculty this spring to direct "Little Women" and oversee a course called "Theater for Young Audiences" in which she has trained the cast to serve as teaching artists. They will travel to local elementary schools to work with students who have been scheduled to attend special invitation-only performances of the show, conducting educational outreach activities they have prepared in class. The cast and production team have responded enthusiastically to this opportunity to synthesize classroom study with rehearsal process, and look forward to testing their mettle as teaching artists in Philadelphia classrooms.

"Jo's story is just as relevant today as it was in 1863," observes Sweeney. "Jackie Goldfinger's adaptation allows us all to identify with these classic characters through its focus on universal themes: finding our homes, overcoming our burdens and finding the courage to say 'I love you.'"

The cast features graduating seniors Brandi Burgess ’12 (Acting) and Cuba Hatheway ’12 (Acting) as Marmee and Jo, respectively, with Marissa Bescript ’13 (Acting) as Meg, Madison Auch ’14 (Musical Theater) as Beth, Francesca Chappius ’13 (Acting) as Amy, Robin Stift ’13 (Acting) as Laurie and RJ Pavel ’13 (Musical Theater) as Laurie. Maureen Sweeney directs the production with assistant director Brad Ogden ’13 (Directing, Playwriting and Production), stage management by Tara Bowler ’12 (DPP) and assistant stage management by Josh Campbell ’14 (DDP).

Two videos created by the "Little Women" cast, available at youtube.com/madiebree, provide a closer look at the action behind the scenes at Little Women rehearsals.

"Little Women"runs May 4 – 6 at the Caplan Studio Theater (211 South Broad Street). Performances are Friday, May 4 at 8 p.m. (press opening); Saturday, May 5 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, May 6 at 2 p.m. Tickets (priced at $20; $10 for students and seniors; and free to the UArts community) are available online at tickets.uarts.edu or by calling 215-717-6450. Seating is general admission and on a first-come, first-served basis.

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