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About Little Women

The Ballarat National Theatre’s end of season’s production of Little Women by playwright Peter Clapham is an opportunity for those people, especially women, who as children and adolescents read and were enamoured by the book to revisit Jo March and her family on stage and to reconsider the message behind Alcott’s writing or to confirm an interpretation already formed.

The book Little Women as well as being a success in its own right has been adapted twice as a silent film, four times with sound, four times as a television series, once as a Broadway musical and even as an opera.

It is directed by the talented Alex Meerbach, a young emerging playwright, director and actor ably supported by a cast of dedicated actors including four young aspiring thespians as the March sisters.

Synopsis

Little Women is a “coming of age” drama depicting the lives of four sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. During the American Civil War, the girls father is away serving as a minister to the troops. The family, headed by their beloved Marmee, must struggle to make ends meet, with the help of their neighbours, Mr. Laurence, and his grandson Laurie.

Playwright Peter Clapham adaptation weaves a lively and incredibly popular tale of American youth in the nineteenth century. He carefully weaves the beloved characters through their moral development, whilst keeping their weaknesses and humor to make them human and relatable.

3rd to 10th December 2016

  • Genre: Drama

  • Playwright: Peter Champman

  • Director: Alexandra Meerbach

About the Director

Alaxandra Meerbach

Alexandra Meerbach is a Board member of Ballarat National Theatre and the Director of Ballarat National Theatre’s latest production Little Women.

Alexandra completed a Bachelor of Performing Arts at BAPA in 1999. Since then she has appeared a few times on screen; participated in various fringe festival shows as either: writer, director, actor and costume or mask designer. She has also experimented with anonymous theatre, immersive theatre and produced the short film Sine which made it to the final of Tropfest.

Alexandra works as a simulated patient for the Royal Women’s Hospital and University of Melbourne and coordinates actors for Deakin University. She teaches Speech and Drama at Ballarat Centre of Music & the Arts (link out to https://www.facebook.com/ballaratcentreofmusicandthearts/); Damascus College & Ballarat Grammar.

Recently Alexandra & cofounder Mary-Rose McLaren, started a choral speaking choir which performed in Ballarat National Theatre’s Who Remembers the Great War?, Ballarat Laneways Festival with The Raven and the witches from Macbeth, at Clunes Book Week & most recently at the Royal South Street Society Competitions. Both are now involved in Mad Swan Productions (link out to https://madswanproductions.com/) which has a vision to create art, (be that theatre, film or installation art), that addresses social and political issues and generates discussions within communities to bring about change. Their latest production is Chatroom.

With Ballarat National Theatre—Alexandra has also performed in The Female of the Species & One Boy's War. She has assistant directed the 2014 production of Chatroom with Mary-Rose McLaren & co-directed Who Remembers the Great War? with Peter Nethercote (link to any of the production pages available).

Playwrights

Playwright Peter Chapman’s stage version of Little Women is a faithful adaptation of the first of Alcott’s original two volumes.

Englishman Peter Chapman, who died in 2003, was an actor best known for his roles in The Phantom of the Opera and The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea and as director of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat.

Cast

Hannah Crompton

Plays Amy March

Lilly Jones

Plays Beth March

Emily Baker

Plays Jo March

Ruby Penhall

Plays Meg March

Liana Emmerson

Plays Hannah

Anne Maree Culvenor

Plays Marmee

Mary Rose Mclaren

Plays Aunt March

Harrison Baker

Plays Laurie Laurence

Zac Berdenhagen

Plays Mr Brooke

John Daykin

Plays Mr Laurence / Mr March

Media