Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy - four girls' names that individually mean very little. But, together, are “Little Women.”
Miami High School will be the first amateur group to put on “Little Women, the Musical.”
It will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 and Nov. 17 and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 18 on the stage of the Coleman Theatre.
Danny Dillon, MHS teacher and director of the annual play, originally intend to put on “Oklahoma” to honor the state's centennial, but ended up with less males than needed to fill the roles.
“So we passed it on to Miami Little Theater,” Dillon said. “‘Little Women' has a small cast that's mostly female and perfect for us. We've actually expanded the cast to 18 actors to give the students a chance.”
The novel “Little Women” was written in the 19th century by Louisa May Alcott.
It is the story of four distinctly different sisters growing up during the Civil War and the different directions their lives take.
The play was written earlier this century by Allan Knee. The music was written by Jason Howland with the lyrics by Mindi Dickstein.
“Adults in particular seem to be excited by the play we're doing,” Dillon said. “It's a story so many of them recognize.
“The play is a little risky though, because it's told with flashbacks and I hope we don't loose any of our audience.”
One of the challenges Dillon has had with the past productions is that many of the male actors also participated in sports creating a conflict between rehearsals and practice.
That has not changed because most of this year's cast is female.
“Two of the actresses are in the all district choir and will be gone for that for two days,” Dillon said with a laugh. “We just have to be creative.”
The high school play has also had problems scheduling rehearsals at the Coleman Theatre.
This year has not gotten any better.
“The Coleman has been very busy with activities scheduled for the Centennial,” Dillon said. “The last activity is the Centennial Follies scheduled for Saturday. After that, we should be able to get in to the theater.”
In the meantime, “Little Women” is being rehearsed at the high school and a local warehouse where sets are also being worked on.
Dillon was complimentary of student Andreau Morrison who, he said, has worked very hard on the sets.
“These sets are a little more difficult than they have been in the past,” Dillon said.
The students seem to also be enjoying the costumes.
“So many of our previous plays were costumed in almost everyday clothes,” Dillon said. “This one goes back to the 1860s and the students are in real costumes from head to toe.”