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A New Generation Looks At 'Little Women'

Louisa May Alcott is best known as the author of Little Women, a novel that's been put on stage in plays, musicals, on film and even in an opera. At Saint Mary of the Woods this fall there is a whole series of presentations looking at the woman behind the novel, and the world that she lived in.

More Than A Novelist

Danielle O'Connor acted, did backstage work, and directed during her years with professor Sharon Ammen as an undergrad at ‘the Woods.' She's back to direct a play based on Alcott's classic novel, and has been doing some background work. "I've learned a lot more about her, especially from the biography Louisa May Alcott: The Woman behind Little Women by Harriet Reisen. I was especially interested in her concern with women's rights and with the cause of abolition."

More Known About Than Known

The young director was a bit surprised to find that most of her actors hadn't read the novel. "Some had seen the musical or the movie, but somehow this book has skipped a generation." However, O'Connor does say that those characters and their family life from a hundred and fifty years ago still has resonance. "Really, the actors are fitting right in, and the way they get along together is really nice to watch."

An Adaptation That Follows The Author's Thoughts, Published And Unpublished

O'Connor has chosen Scott Davidson's adaptation of Little Women. "It's the best that I've read, both for what it includes and what it leaves out. I like it that there's a richness of detail in the characters. I also like it that he leaves out Jo's marriage to Professor Bhaer. It's a part that Louisa May Alcott herself objected to. She didn't think that marriage had to be the ending."

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