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Bringing a Coming-of-Age Classic to the Canterbury Stage

Bringing a Coming-of-Age Classic to the Canterbury Stage

Little Women holds special memories for Language Department Chair Keiko Mathewson, who co-directed the stage musical at Canterbury this past weekend with Performing Arts Department Chair Sarah Armstrong.

“Growing up in Massachusetts, I took my first venture to Orchard House (Little Women author Louisa May Alcott’s home) at around age seven,” Keiko said. “I lived 30 minutes away, and the first visit would not be my last. That initial visit inspired me to read Little Women, and subsequent visits allowed me to envision the story coming to life. And so here I am, many years later, taking this story from my mind and creating it on stage.”

And our theater students—and appreciative audience members—are lucky she did! It was a spectacular show as our Saints did an amazing job bringing this timeless story to life with energy and passion. They dazzled with standout acting and singing as well as impressive direction, production, sets, costumes, and more. 

It was quite an undertaking. Sarah shared with the community a number of eye-opening stats detailing the preparation, including 65 rehearsals, 110 pages of script and 100 pages of music to memorize, 200 hours of set design and build, and much more. “These give you a peek into what we have been doing for the last four months,” she said. “Everything you see and hear on stage had to be created from scratch.”

Anne Melich ’23 was excited to play the musical’s main protagonist, Jo March. “She was a character I looked up to my whole life,” said Annie, who was in every scene and had 11 costume changes throughout the night. “The story is one of my favorites, and having a sister helped me bring a personal perspective to Jo. I have always admired her passion and spirit, so getting the chance to play her on stage was a dream come true.” 

Congrats to all the outstanding students in the cast and crew:

THE CAST OF CHARACTERS (In order of appearance)
Professor Bhaer: Beckett Reynolds ’23
Jo March: Anne Melich ’23
Amy March: Sylvia Pinheiro ’24
Meg March: Ava Faruol ’24
Beth March: Amelia Welsh ’26
Marmee: Eliza Agredano ’24
Mr. Laurence: Veikko Eskelin ’23
Laurie: Andrew Martin ’23
Aunt March: Ruari Bamrick ’24
John Brooke: Bryce Stone ’23
Mrs. Kirk: Elena Davenport ’25

Serena Bacetti ’26, Yueanshu “Angel” Fu ’25, Yuge “Ingrid” Fu ’26, Zhe “Andrew” Ji ’23, Caroline Kelleher ’24, Emily Lang ’24, Gianna Martinez ’26, Jing “Kitty” Miao ’25, Victoria Ostrowski ’26, Lezhi “Martin” Zhang ’24

Stage Manager: Fiona Mulheren ’23
Assistant Sound Designer: Madison Lang ’24
Sound Board Operators: Alicia Agredano ’26, Madison Lang ’24
Light Board Operator: Laurie Etienne ’24
Follow-Spot Operator: Geoffrey Moran ’24
Carpenters: Gabriel Bradshaw ’24, Andrew Martin ’23, Geoffrey Moran ’24
Scenic Painting: Jing “Kitty” Miao ’25, Fiona Mulheren ’23
Deck Crew Chief: Gabriel Bradshaw ’24
Deck Hand: Bowen Lei ’25
Costume Assistants: Emily Lang ’24, Ingrid Fu ‘26

Following Saturday’s performance, three students—Geoffrey, Alicia, and Gianna—were honored with awards for tremendous contributions during their first theater experience at Canterbury.

And we will truly miss our seniors who have given so much to the theater program—Veikko, Andrew J., Andrew M., Annie, Fiona, Beckett, and Bryce. As Sarah said before their final shows: “We love you!”