William Byrd Players present ‘Little Women’

The William Byrd Players are presenting “Little Women” at WBHS on Feb. 17, 18 and 19. Cast members include (right to left) Reece Hodges (as Meg), Katie Dillon (Marmee), Eva Pierce (Jo), Tess Owens (Beth), Tommy Curro (Mr. Brooks), and Tela Espelage (Amy). In this scene, the March family receives word that Father is ill and Marmee decides to go to him. Other cast members not pictured include David Scott as Laurie, Bryce McGeorge (Mr. Lawrence), Kallie Parrish (Hannah) and Meagan Webb (Aunt March).

The William Byrd Players, directed by Carol Webster and student Reagan Castleman, will be presenting “Little Women,” based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott.

Performances are scheduled in the auditorium at William Byrd High School at 7 p.m. on February 17 and 18 and at 2:30 p.m. on February 19. Tickets are $5.

This adaptation of “Little Women” by Marisha Chamberlain follows the adventures and relationships between four sisters whose father is a chaplain in the Civil War. They remain on the home front, hoping for his safe return.

The unconditionally loving mother Marmee, played by Katie Dillon, has much to handle. She must care for four distinctively independent young women who have conflicts and joys in their lives. Meg, the oldest, played by Reece Hodges, struggles with being a role model for her sisters, trying to keep the four together and at the same time, dealing with feelings for a man with whom she finds companionship and love, despite his poverty.

The next oldest is Jo (played by Eva Pierce), a fiercely unconventional girl who takes on the burden as the “man of the house” while their father is gone. he is gifted for storytelling and creativity, but she also quickly angers.

Next is Beth (played by Tess Owens) whose humble spirit for her sisters and others bonds the sisters together.

Finally, the youngest is Amy (Tela Espelage) who is babied and indulged by her older sisters and mother, unfortunately creating a spoiled little girl desperately wanting to grow up and be like her older siblings.

All four girls struggle with the absence of their father and eventually their mother as she goes off to nurse him to health after he becomes gravely ill on the battlefield.

Their next-door neighbors Mr. Lawrence (Bryce McGeorge) and his grandson Laurie (David Scott) take an interest in the family, as does Laurie’s tutor, John Brooks (Tommy Curro).

Rounding out the story and cast is the venerable Aunt March (Meagan Webb), and the serving girl, Hannah (Kallie Parish).

Webster, who is the director of the Roanoke County Schools Center for the Performing Arts and the Theatre Arts Department Chair at WBHS, said, “‘Little Women’ will transport you back to a simpler time where evenings were spent reading, writing, knitting, playing checkers, or singing around a piano.”

Stage managers for the production are Elizabeth Saunders and Chase Dorsey, with lighting by J.D. Castleman, and sound by Sam Keisling and instructor Matt Bartley.

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