In 1993 my Nan introduced me to the classic story of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. As many young girls do I fell in love with the character Jo. She was vivacious, stubborn, temperamental, passionate and had a disdain for the expectations placed upon her as a female. Louisa May Alcott is quoted as saying, “Never liked girls or knew many, except my sisters…”, these sentiments are definitely present in the heart of the character Jo. She was a character that on many levels I could identify with. Not only did Jo draw me to this story but the general portrayal of family life, how we grow, forgive,change and struggle together through ups and downs endeared me to the story.
Sometime in my career as a high school student I had the opportunity to act out a scene from a stage adaptation of Little Women in my drama class. My desire to play Jo in a full length production of Little Women was born. I hoped one day the opportunity would arise to live my dream of being Jo March. Life goes by quickly and as I reached my late 20″s I started to let go of that dream. I look younger than I am but really how long could I hope to pass as a seventeen year old? Maybe I would have to shift my dream to being Marmee.
Just as I had resigned myself to letting Jo slip away the opportunity arose. Our local theater group was doing a stage adaptation of Little Women. Not feeling completely secure in my ability to pass as a seventeen year old, I thought it best to audition for the role of Meg as well as Jo. I was just hoping to have any chance I could have of being part of the cast.
This last weekend we wrapped up a twelve show run of Little Women where I had the joyous opportunity to share the role of Jo and perform in six of the twelve performances. It was a great experience to play such a well known and beloved character. Jo’s energy and passion was a thrill to feel and share with the audience. I had the opportunity to meet and spend time with many wonderful people,cast and crew, who were also eager to tell the story of the March Family. I love the experience of bringing a story to the stage: Watching the pieces all come into place, studying and analyzing my character, working and playing with friends new and old. But as it is said “all good things must come to an end” and now that it is all over and I am left with many good memories and experiences, new friendships and the joy of being able to have lived a dream.
It was a dream that was well worth having and holding onto UNLIKE the one I had of powering my house with lemon juice. Not that to power your house with lemon juice wouldn’t be a great thing. The problem was the way in which I planned to make my dream a reality. Something about having lots of children and then making them juice lemons all day just doesn’t seem right.