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Advanced Theater puts on Little Women play.

By Kelsey Jarnagin
May 4, 2023

Little Women is “Marching” into the Ken Collins Theater for the 2023 spring play. Every year advanced theater puts on a show based on a book for every English class at McNary. They will be performing on May 18 and 19. There will be an opportunity for the family of the actors to come in and watch the performance after school one of the days.

Every English class will be invited down to emerge back into the 1800s to watch their peers perform the show of the March sisters during the entire English class period. Proper theater etiquette is required during the production of the show.

Little Women is a storyline following the four March sisters and how they navigate through life. These sisters are just going through the start of womanhood and seeing how it changes them for the better. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are the main female characters the audience will see throughout the show. 

This show spotlights the second-oldest child–Jo March. In the McNary adaptation, Lilly Purkey will be portraying Jo in the two-day performance. 

Purkey made a deep connection with the character as soon as they got the role. Receiving the role was an amazing opportunity for them to grow as an actor. 

“I feel very connected with Jo. She's a very empowering woman who is just this major feminist that can do anything,” Purkey said. 

Jo is the daughter who isn't scared of a challenge and wants to expand her knowledge by reading and writing all of her life. She's a woman who started with the goal of being a writer but ended up being an educator and running a school. 

Getting these roles for these characters was in a short period of time as they were decided a little after the second semester. So getting through memorization and learning how to get into the character was an adaptive process the actors had to go through.

“We've been doing run-throughs as quickly as we can during the class period since we only have that length of time since it's not a typical two and half hour play,” Purkey said. 

Grant Parks is playing Laurie–the beggar, the boy next door, and the love interest. This will be Park's first time having a lead part at McNary, but it was an exciting but nerve-wracking experience for them.

Laurie is a character that comes off as a mean and arrogant man that gets everything handed to him. He knows what he wants and gets what he wants, but he does learn from those cocky mistakes. That is really what Parks took from this character: people are allowed to grow and change.

“He made me realize that people make the same mistakes, and they are going to make them over and over again, and it doesn't make them a bad person,” Parks said.