Harrington Theater Arts Company produces “Little Women” with big expectations and a short deadline

BY JENI NANCE
Staff Reporter

Based on the classic novel written by Louisa May Alcott, “Little Women” was first produced into a musical in 2005 by Allan Knee. It follows the journey of the four March sisters — Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy — from childhood to womanhood. 

After four short weeks of preparation and rehearsal, Harrington Theater Arts Company (HTAC) performed “Little Women” in mid-March at Bacchus Theater. As their first of two performances this spring, stakes were high to set the tone for this semester. 

Why “Little Women”? HTAC works in a democratic system in which members present ideas for shows at the beginning of the semester and they vote on which shows to perform, with “Little Women” being voted as their first performance. The second show of the semester, “Company,” will be at the end of April in Pearson Hall.

With such a short turnaround time for this show, cast and crew were under immense pressure. 

“There were a ton of rehearsals, working very hard every week to make sure it was ready,” Sophia Johnson, vice president of HTAC and house manager for “Little Women,” said.  

Auditions had taken place the first week of the spring semester, before most were settled into their classes. Consisting of only 10 performers, there were a lot more one-on-one scenes in comparison to other musicals. 

Due to the time constraint, the cast and crew ran into some challenges. Senior Colette Mahar, who played Meg March in the production, said she was unfamiliar with the vocal range she was cast for, but was able to adapt well. 

“The vocal part that I was assigned to is not typically in my range, it’s a little bit higher than usual,” said Mahar. “It took more practice than usual just to be comfortable in that vocal range.”

Emily Mateja/THE REVIEW

The relationship between cast and crew was crucial to the success of the production. Due to the size of this show, those involved were able to create a close, tight-knit relationship.

“We spend so much time here too, being around people that you really enjoy and want to spend time with is such a huge part of it,” Mahar said. “It just makes you more comfortable on stage and making choices and being vulnerable.” 

While HTAC receives most of its funding from the school, it also fundraises in numerous ways. The company recently held an event at honeygrow and frequently sells merchandise, concessions and raffle tickets at its shows as another way to diversify earnings. Grabbing the attention of more students is also a big goal of the company.

Individuals who attended the show said the show turned out well and that they were greatly impressed by the final product. 

“It was astonishing, it was so good,” Rebecca Masi, a freshman and HTAC member, said. “I had high expectations and they literally went above and beyond.” 

Masi played Dragon in HTAC’s fall production of “Shrek the Musical.” She came out to watch the show to support her fellow club members. While she won’t be in any productions this semester, Masi will continue to support by attending more shows in the future. 

“Watching it, I wish I did it,” Masi said after attending the show.

Editor’s note: Sophia Johnson was previously a senior reporter for The Review. She has not been affiliated with The Review since Spring 2022.

Emily Mateja/THE REVIEW

Originally posted 2023-04-23 21:50:25.


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