A fairly large cast of Havre High School students is coming to the stage with a long-standing American classic this week, a stage adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women.”
Angela Pratt, who is directing the production, said the actors — a mix of new thespians, students active in high school drama and Montana Actors’ Theatre veterans — have done a good job, although the play presented some interesting difficulties.
“A period piece is tough,” Pratt said, adding that one of the first things the students had to work on was posture. Trying to depict 19th century people in how they walk, stand, sit, even take off hats and caps when they went indoors was a new experience for many, Pratt said.
The cast also had to work on representing formal 19th century dialect — avoiding using modern interjections when coming through a door took some practice, she said.
She said she selected one of the first stage adaptations of the novel, which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869.
Arthur Jearue’s 1939 adaptation had the largest cast, with 15 actors, which led her to that selection.
The play tells the story of a poverty-stricken new England family, trying to get by while the father of the family serves as a military chaplain during the Civil War.
The four lead characters, the March sisters, are played by Kaity McKnight, Oriah Pratt, Jessa Pyette and Brittanee Korb. Their mother is played by Courtney Crawford.
The rest of the cast is rounded out by Samantha French, Larissa Price, Colton Wedding, Carson Pollington, Mike Woronik, Seth Doney, Shawna Carey, Mariah Zandhuisen, Lynnea Bosch and Amanda Dolph.
Wedding, acting in his fourth production, said the cast has come together very well. The newcomers to the stage had some troubles at first, but “everyone is doing fantastic,” he said.
That is especially true given the size of the cast, Wedding said.
“This is one of the best … I’ve ever been in,” he said.
The play has been interesting because it is very dialogue-driven, he said.
“It’s very fun to run through,” Wedding said.
Carey, who is both acting and working on the set, said she is acting in her first production. She intends to continue to act.
“There is a lot of stuff going on (on the stage),” she said. “It’s really fun.”
The play runs tonight, Friday and Saturday with the shows starting at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for students in grades nine through 12 and for senior citizens.