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Event Recap: Little Women at RHS

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

By Ava and Mia Vaccarella

Marmie and her Little Women. Photo by Scott Ahearn

During the weekend of November 17-18th, Rutherford High School’s annual winter play took center stage with their rendition of Little Women, the classic, heartfelt novel.

Little Women follows the March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy—during the Civil War. Tightly-knit sisters begin the transition from their adolescence into womanhood as they navigate the social expectations of the time.

Meg, the oldest, is responsible and caring. In her father’s absence, she takes on a motherly role, guiding her sisters into adulthood. She dreams of a romantic future with a loving husband and kids. Jo is independent and ambitious. With her dreams of being a writer, she battles conventional societal roles for women as she pursues her passion. Beth is shy and musically gifted. The piano serves as a way for her to express herself. Throughout the story, she is beloved by her sisters and everyone around them. Amy, the youngest, is artistic and headstrong. Beginning as somewhat self-centered, she matures into a woman who understands the importance of love and family.

Photo by Colleen Fencik

While a majority of the cast members who played the above characters were returning seniors at RHS in this year’s production, there was still an eclectic mix of ages and personalities taking part in the play, including sophomores and juniors. An applaud for the organization behind the production of the phenomenal casting job of each of the sisters and other characters must be noticed as well, in that all of Little Women’s actors put on a stellar performance; their ability to put their own spin on, yet keep the true essence of who they were playing was apparent each time they performed.

Photo by Colleen Fencik

Every detail found in the book or other popular adaptations was brought to careful attention in the high school’s play. The set design was even on point. It complimented the warm-hearted feel felt throughout the story, with there being a large, landscape backdrop, a mixture of prop and vintage furniture usage, as well as spotlights and the curtain itself to isolate the inner thoughts of certain characters. If any viewer was expecting a more modern or contemporary take on the story, as done through the costume or set design, they would be incorrect. The clothing that each of the cast sisters wore was realistic enough not to be confused with anything worn today, but instead, the various skirts and dresses were seen to replicate what women would be wearing in the mid to late 19th century. The traditional, yet unique storytelling techniques of the cast and crew at the school were truly a treat to watch.

Photo by Mia and Ava Vaccarella

Once again, RHS put on another wonderful, joy-filled show for its audience. The Rutherford High School students' portrayal of the sisters enabled them to put on a wonderful performance that captured the feelings of themes such as love, relationships, and forgiveness that the original Little Women tugs at—the types of lessons we all need just in time for the start of the holiday season.

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