On Friday, November 10 and Saturday, November 11, Coe-Brown Northwood Academy’s renowned theatre program will present Little Women. Originally written by Louisa May Alcott in 1868, the story has remained a cultural mainstay in literary and cinematic realms through modern times. Resonating with people from all walks of life, the story contemplates love and loss, triumph and failure, and tackles the push and pull of old and new traditions as it follows the story of the March siblings as they grow up and venture beyond the familiarity of their childhood home. The story of these Little Women shows us that above all, family is the glue that binds this unpredictable life together into an altogether richer and more complex fabric than it would be otherwise.
CBNA faculty member and production director Jennifer Moynihan has a personal connection with this story, “I remember reading about Jo March and her sisters when I was 7, so desperately clinging to the hope that I could have the same determination with my life’s passion as Jo did. As I grew older I identified with different aspects of Jo’s journey from finding independence to dealing with the heartbreak of loss. While Jo may be our central character, her story is not complete without her dear sisters, the steadfast love of Marmee, Laurie and his friendship, and all of the other characters we meet on her journey.”
The cast and crew of this production are indeed a complex fabric, rich in both personalities and talent, and everyone has something that drew them to this group of actors who have become family. Stage manager Athena Moore ’24 shared that, “Being an ensemble actor is the best job because you still get to be on stage, but you don’t have all of the responsibilities of a lead actor. You can also hang out with your friends!” while Juliana Vagi ‘24, who plays Meg March, notes that her path to CBNA’s stage four years ago was quite circumspect, “I got into theatre because I met a girl in English class…and she asked, ‘Are you going to theatre?’, and I was too scared to say no, so I said yes. I also wanted to make friends and I’d heard a lot of good things about [CBNA] theatre from middle school.”
Claire Burbank, a senior at CBNA, plays Jo March. She handles the intense workload of a lead part and academic obligations with grace and a fierce dedication to the company and the play. Moynihan notes, “Burbank’s guiding strength is a beacon of light for all the others onstage and they are rising to the same level of dedication that she exudes. It has been so rewarding to see the students challenging themselves in such a demanding process. I am so proud of all they have accomplished already and can’t wait to see how much more they bring to the process in the coming weeks.”
Putting on a production of this complexity is rarely simple, and Moynihan is quick to give credit where credit is due. “This show is challenging in many different ways. The music is complex. The set changes, lighting, and sound elements are all deeply interwoven into the essential elements of this show. She also noted that the students have been steadfast in their dedication to making all of these areas come to life, on and off the stage. “We have been so lucky to have an incredible stage manager in Athena Moore ‘24 and assistant stage manager in Micah Linskey ‘24, who have really been the driving force of making so much of the magic come to life in this imagined world of Concord, Massachusetts in the 1860’s. Kaitlyn Linskey ‘26 has been leading the costume charge for our production and has done lots of time period research to breathe life into the outfits you will see on the stage.”
Special thanks go to John Moynihan, The Firehouse Center for the Arts, and The Community Players of Concord, Jen Bleiler, Laconia Christian Academy and John Stark Regional High School who loaned costumes, set pieces and building materials for this production. The CBNA Theatre program’s sincerest gratitude also goes to CBNA faculty members Kolby Hume, Matt Lobdell and Erin Davis for their incredible organizational, technical, and artistic talents. Thanks as well to the entire cast and crew for their time, energy and dedication.
Evening performances will take place Friday, November 10 and Saturday, November 11 at 7 pm, with a matinee performance on Saturday, November 11 at 2 pm. Tickets will also be available for cash purchase one hour before curtain on the day of the performances. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $10 for students/seniors. This show is appropriate for kids of all ages. Seating is general admission, although special need requests will be honored when possible. Mobile Tickets can be purchased here:
Little Women, The Broadway Musical is taken from the book by Allan Knee, with the music of Jason Howland and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, and based on the original novel by Louisa May Alcott. This production is licensed and presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. For more information, visit www.mtishows.com.