Louisa May Alcott’s beloved “Little Women” was hardly a labor of love for its author. When her publisher requested a "girl story," Alcott wanted no part of it. Her writing interests were Gothics, thrillers and stage plays. Still, her own history proved that she would take on practically any chore to bring funds to her struggling family. Tutoring, sewing and housekeeping were included and since a publisher was willing to pay her to write, Alcott accepted.
Her journal reflects her initial protest. “May, 1868 — So I plod away, though I don’t enjoy this sort of thing. Never liked girls or knew many, except my sisters.” Alcott doubted that Jo March and family might ever prove interesting to anyone!
Her real life involved the Alcotts' strong abolitionist position, where they actually hid escaped Civil War slaves. Louisa had served as a nurse for the war effort, during a time when an unmarried woman attending a man’s naked body would raise eyebrows. She promoted women’s rights and was the first woman in Concord, Mass., to vote.
So, it isn’t hard to understand how simply writing for girls would seem mundane to Alcott, but in taking the challenge, she was able to turn everyday life into an enduring volume, where generations of women would embrace their dreams.
Our TCT actors, who play the March sisters, express their thoughts on Alcott’s personal message to them.
Hannah Clare (Jo): “During a time, when females were restricted, Jo’s independence and free spirit inspires us to reach for our best selves, not allowing others to dictate our limits.”
Sierra Christian (Meg): “Through Meg, we realize that materialistic fantasies cannot stand up to a life of inner contentment and genuine love.”
Saida Woolf (Beth): ”Beth is so angelic and selfless that I wonder if her character hints that we still need our more human traits to survive in this life.”
Lily Seymour (Amy): “The part of Amy made me think of our potential for positive growth — that we can always seek to become a better person.”
So Louisa, we thank you for still inspiring us, more than 150 years later.
TCT’s “Little Women” is an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s original novel, written and directed by Monica Nadon. Tickets: adults $18, children 12 and under $10, seniors and active duty military $16 at the box office; current TCT members $15 online only. Tickets available at Tehachapi Furniture and Tehachapi Treasure Trove, or online at tctonstage.com.
Show times: Fridays/Saturdays of Sept. 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday matinees of Sept. 22 and 29 at 2 p.m. Performed at the BeeKay Theatre, 110 S. Green St., in downtown Tehachapi.
Dorothy McReynolds writes publicity for the Tehachapi Community Theatre.