Northwest Missouri State University to present adaptation of popular novel “Little Women”

Little Women News Graphic

Northwest Missouri State University’s Theatre Northwest will present a holiday adaptation of the 19th-century novel “Little Women” from Nov. 9-12. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9; Friday, Nov. 10; and Saturday, Nov. 11, with a final show at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12, in the Studio Theater at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are available for $12 and can be purchased at this link .

The production, directed by Katheryn Bilbo, an associate professor of theatre, follows four sisters as they experience life from one Christmas to the next. “We wanted to present a popular, recognizable classic in straightforward prose, rather than in verse,” Bilbo explained. “This stage version of the novel is framed by Christmas, which is especially fitting for the season.”

Theatre Northwest will bring a fresh perspective to Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel with an adaptation by Erin Riley, a former artistic director at The Strand Theater Company in Baltimore. Alcott’s tale is transformed into a celebration of individuality, perseverance, and love in its many forms, according to Bilbo.

This play also aligns with Theatre Northwest’s goal to diversify its season by featuring works by female playwrights. “‘Little Women’ was groundbreaking in its encouragement of ambition and individuality among women, and it challenged the notion that a woman’s sole purpose was domesticity,” Bilbo remarked. “Louisa May Alcott was not dismissing the value of home life, but rather suggesting that it wasn’t the only path available.”

The stage adaptation differs from the novel by focusing on the holiday season and compressing the timeline. It is also uniquely narrated by Jo, the novel’s central character.

The 2023-2024 season at Northwest continues with the annual Alpha Psi Omega children’s show on Dec. 10. The spring lineup includes the second annual Theatre Northwest Playfest from Jan. 22 through Feb. 3; “Miracle on South Division Street” on March 1-2; and “Radium Girls” from April 11-14.

For additional details about Theatre Northwest, please call 660.562.1321 or send an email to [email protected].