By Alex Simmons
The March family will be spending some time in Springville this November when a production of “Little Women” is performed at the Springville Center for the Arts.
The story is “a classic tale of the strength of women and their ability to be compassionate, resilient, supportive and loving,” Director Rick Manzone states.
Set during the Civil War and written by Louisa May Alcott, “Little Women” tells the story of the March sisters’ journey starting from their childhood to adulthood and the problems they face along the way.
“As a director and actor, I have been involved with male-heavy plays,” Manzone said, explaining why this show was chosen. “‘Little Women,’ being a female-heavy production, gives the producers and actors the opportunity to showcase the talents of some incredible actresses.”
Manzone works along with Director Ed Heary, Producer Ruthie Consiglio, Stage Managers Mike Sharrer and Victoria Ehrig, Lights/Sound engineer Chris Lillis, Director of Operations Tracy Maybray andActing Coach Don Wesley. The set was built by Bill McGirr.
The directors said they have really enjoyed “watching the development and growth of the newest actresses and actors on the stage, in addition to the younger cast members” who are high school students and recent grads.
The show has a cast of 14 made of 11 actresses and 3 actors.
“The talent, work ethic and intuition they possess is astonishing,” Manzone said. “They are all working as one cohesive team. They encourage and support each other’s efforts.”
For Grace Harvey, student at Buffalo Seminary, who will be portraying Meg March, the highlight of rehearsals so far has been “hanging out and making jokes with my ‘sisters’ and the rest of the cast.”
Harvey expresses that they always have a lot of fun, even including that “there have been quite a few pillow fights.”
Building on Harvey’s quote, Alex Simmons, who will be portraying Amy March, states that “Theater families are family.” One challenge Harvey has faced is “balancing my schedule.” Harvey was recently in Macbeth at Buffalo Seminary this past weekend, so trying to balance rehearsals for two different shows was tough.
Alyssa Uebel, who will portray Jo March, said things have been amazing overall.
“Throughout each rehearsal, I learn something new and I notice my growth as an actress,” she continues. “Having the opportunity to work with such talented people and develop my craft has to be the highlight.”
According to Uebel, “Anyone who enjoys stories of love, hope and perseverance will want to see Little Women.” This show consists of “family dynamics that are timeless.”
Andrea Simmons, who will be playing the part of the girls’ mother, Marmee, expressed that “The highlight for me personally was working with such a wonderful and talented cast who have taught me so much throughout this process.”
Andrea Simmons is a first-time actress and long-time stage mom for her two children, Alex Simmons (Amy March) and Justin Simmons (John Brooke.)
“As a first-time actress, I have had an amazing experience thanks to the cast, crew and directors,” she said. “I am very grateful that our community has the Springville Center for the Arts (SCA) not only for the audience to enjoy the theater performances but also for those looking to discover and develop their talents.”
“The SCA theater provides an important facet of our lives and existence,” Mazone said. “The creativity residing in every person on earth needs an outlet. Along with that, we need a source of creative input so that we are able to observe alternative lifestyles and beliefs so that we can grow in our own lives.”
Other talented cast members and crew you will see in the show include: Margaret Boyle (Beth March), Marilyn Heary (Aunt March), Keith Cordaro (Mr. March), Mary Sion (Hannah), Trevor Krawczyk (Laurie), Heather Svalina (Mrs. Gardener), Katelynn Kruger (Sallie Gardener), Beth Marsh (Mrs. Moffat), Kayleen Koffkey (Annie Moffat) and Gina Dubay (Belle Moffat)
You can see Little Women on the SCA stage Nov. 14,15 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Nov. 16 and 23 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at springvillearts.org or by calling (716) 592-9038. Tickets can also be purchased at the door. General admission is $12; student/senior, $10; groups of 15 or more, $8 each. The Thursday, Nov. 14 show is “Pay what you can with a can.” Bring a canned good to donate and pay what you can for the show.