The most faithful adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women
for the theater -- and for the casual reader...
Adapting a beloved 400+ page novel for the stage presents a challenge: can any theatrical version really stay true to the heart and spirit of Alcott's timeless "story about girls"? Many dramatized versions (both stage and screen) eliminate critical events, or even stop at the first half of the book, leaving you wondering: "Huh? What happens to Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy next? Where are my favorite scenes?"
Kevin Cunningham's full-length play version of Little Women is different: all the dialogue (and even the stage directions) are taken directly from the novel you love, preserving intact the full journeys of Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. From their forlorn "Merry Christmas" through their heartaches, disagreements, tragedies, and joys; meeting new friends and finding their "heart's true loves"; taking their "pilgrim's journeys" from selfishness to compassion -- Little Women: The Play includes all the essential elements of Alcott's story.
Louisa May Alcott -- An Important Character in Her Own Right
Capturing the novel faithfully in a dramatic format is one thing. But, as Greta Gerwig has also realized, Alcott's story is even more remarkable when seen in its context: as a groundbreaking novel for girls produced by a woman writer in an era when boy's books were the only game in town, and female writers were third-class citizens. It's easy to forget that Little Women became the literary sensation of its time. It was the Harry Potter series of its era, with Louisa May as her day's J. K. Rowling. The success of the novel forever freed her from writing lurid novels (like A Long Fatal Love Chase) -- but it almost cost her her health.
Little Women: The Play incorporates this remarkable history in three additional scenes that frame the story of the novel. Louisa May Alcott appears onstage, along with her publisher Thomas Niles Jr., to commission and discuss the progress of the book. The novel we love unfolds onstage as the creation of the author herself.
Details for Theatrical Productions
The cast includes distinct roles for 7 men and 8 women, but a number of the parts can be double- or triple-cast (or given to Louisa May Alcott, acting out the part as part of her writing process).
The play is designed for presentation in a black box theater, so it is carefully constructed to require only a single set, with a few distinct playing areas.
The paperback version of the book (but not the Kindle eBook) includes three appendices useful for groups hoping to produce the play:
- an acting plot, showing which roles appear in which scenes;
- a list of set pieces (furniture, etc.) used in a typical production;
- a detailed list of props and sound cues, listed by what scenes they appear in.
Groups looking to stage Alcott's story as she wrote it need look no further. Little Women: The Play is pure Alcott, distilled.
Scroll back up and order your copy today. -- And break a leg!
Fun for the Casual Reader Too
Like audience members of the staged production, casual readers too will find that Little Women: The Play is a great way to experience the essence of the novel without having to make your way through the original's 400+ pages. There is of course no substitute for reading the full novel, but here is the next best thing -- a reading experience that faithfully conveys the quintessence of Louisa May Alcott's story.
Scroll back up and order your copy today. -- And happy reading!