Big Heart for Little Women

Photo by Rachel Fischer

Hopatcong High School’s production of Little Women is a sophisticated piece that once again demonstrated the raw and promising talent that Hopatcong High School has to offer. Through this emotional and romantic rollercoaster, Jo March (Cameron Dinulos) brought the audience to memories of her three sisters–Amy March (Kelly Nee), Beth March (Heather Sutton) and Meg March (Abigail Decker)– reliving the joy of their childhood and divulging the harsh realities of growing up.

The early December HHS production brought a family classic to invigorating life. Jo March (Cameron) is no ordinary girl. Instead of knitting and conducting other common household chores, she chooses to participate in the war and fight beside her father. Her evident sense of responsibility to take her father’s place shows throughout the play, and in this classic full of sentiment, comedy, and family, the audience has no choice but to fall in love with its characters.

HHS English teacher and theater director, Mr. Ross, glowed when asked about the performance. “I’m just so proud of what they were able to accomplish; you know everyone just improved.” According to Mr. Ross,  encouragement before and after each performance is important if the the students are to give each performance the same amount of power and clarity.

“Before every performance, I meet with everyone, and I give them a word to ponder and the word today [Sunday’s performance] was ‘perfection.’ And it being our very final performance, I said let it all out, have no regrets, and give it your all,” Mrs. Ross added.  Mr. Ross was pleased with the outstanding results.

When asked how she felt about the play in comparison to ones done previously, HHS junior Tara Nixdorff said, “I think it’s the best play we have ever done. This play has the biggest set that we ever had; it’s a very small cast but it is probably the best we have had. It’s the most elaborate play with costumes, and it was the first play I had a leading role in.” Tara, as the narrator, plays an essential role as she highlights the greater features such as the importance of family, friends, and strength, which are all so prominent in the storyline.

Despite the outstanding portrayal of life during the Civil War, the overall performance did not receive a tremendous turnout. In comparison to past productions, the audience demonstrated quite a miniscule appearance each night. HHS teacher and director of lights and set in the drama club, Mr. Michael Batche said, “This one was a classic; it’s a shame that plays like this, Little Women, don’t draw a bigger audience.”

One may suspect that the upgrade in ticket prices had something to do about the crowd shortage, climbing up to $7.00 for children and $10.00 for adults per ticket. However despite the minor setback, the overall response of the attending audience was quite thrilling as the spectators reacted in pleasure and appreciation throughout the show.

Batche also commented, “This [play] was more difficult for the actors to handle because there is a range of emotions there; it’s not like a fun musical or a comedy. They have to be happy, they have to be sad, they have to be loved, they have to show hatred, they have to kiss, and it’s just a range of emotions.” The HHS drama club met this range of emotions; the spectators become enthralled with a storyline so unparallel to this time period, however overwhelmingly empowering and entertaining.

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