Little Women performs at Ashland University

Christine Jenkinson

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The Ashland University Theater Department wrapped up their production of “Little Women” on Nov. 10.

Mr. Sean Parker is the Director and Assistant Professor of Theatre.

“When choosing the play, I’m looking at students who are auditioning,” Parker said. “We have predominant women for casting. I read the libretto and just fell in love with the story and then I read the novel and just was amazed that it was a children’s book from the 1960s and here I am an older man going ‘this is amazing.’ So then I wanted to do a Little Women musical.”

This musical not only related to its time but relates to feminism in today’s society.

“If you look at everything that is going on in our world today, you’ve got women who struggle for pay inequity, the #MeToo movement, all these things,” Parker said. “Louisa May Alcott wrote this in the 19th century, a time when women didn’t have the right to vote, which was one of the things that she fought for. Women didn’t have the right to vote, women sometimes were told who to marry, and they had to wear corsets designed by men that were very uncomfortable and unhealthy. So yes, I think there is a strong parallel from that century on until today, things that still need to be addressed and talked about.”

Suzanne Schmidt, a Mansfield citizen, liked the positive message the musical sent to the audience.

“Little Women was a joy to watch,” Schmidt said. “The positive, uplifting message of family, love and support was a breath of fresh air. Jo, the main character, worked hard and followed her dream and because of that, succeeded! She didn’t let the naysayers deter her. She also found something she was never looking for, love!”

This inspirational musical touched on social issues and brought literature to life.

“I hope [the audience] took away a hope that life has challenges but it is a learning experience and looking back into your own life and remembering all the positive things and all the people, your family and the people you loved, you can still go on and move forward and go for your dreams and your aspirations,” Parker said.

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