Alcott

Louisa May Alcott

ATHENS – This spring, Concord University will present The Little Women Project, a series of performances and presentations celebrating the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott. All presentations are free and will be hosted on the virtual meeting platform, Zoom, and will begin at 7 p.m. unless noted otherwise. All presentations share the meeting ID 923 2892 2540.

The project will begin on March 18 with a presentation by Concord University history instructor, Keith Lilly, discussing how the Civil War shaped the Mountain State. Then, Concord University Theatre will perform the play production of Little Women on Zoom. Performances will be March 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. and a Sunday matinee, on March 28, at 2 p.m. Funding for the play performance has been provided in memory of Alice Todaro by her family.

On April 8, Concord Theatre student Hannah Gates will embody Louisa May Alcott for a living history performance. Lastly, on April 15, a community discussion titled “Why Louisa May Alcott is Important Today” will be led by Concord University English Professor, Dr. Amberyl Malkovich.

Dr. William Williams, Professor of Education, will create lesson plans for area teachers relating to the project. Middle and high school teachers will be sent lesson plans that will give teachers information and activities to teach Civil War in West Virginia, the Suffragette Movement and Louisa May Alcott. Teachers and students are welcome to attend the Zoom performances and, in addition, they will be recorded for use in the classroom.

Little Women, written by Louisa May Alcott, follows the March family, consisting of four daughters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy; Marmee, their mother; and Mr. March, their father, who is currently serving as a Union chaplain in the Civil War. It is not until the girls meet Laurie, a young boy who lives next door, that they realize they’re nearing the end of their adolescence and becoming young women. This story of life’s challenges highlights true ambition and the strength of womanhood.

The Little Women Project was created by Concord University Theatre instructor Karen Vuranch, who is excited to honor the classic story in the CU community.

“The Little Women books were an important part of my adolescence,” Vuranch said. “I think they are timeless and celebrate strong, wise women.”

Vuranch added that Louisa May Alcott was an inspiration to her.

“Alcott created a career for herself when few women were able to do that, she was a Civil War nurse and involved in the suffragette movement. We can learn so much about American history from this story,” she said.

All of The Little Women Project events are open to the public free of charge and will take place on Zoom. For those who haven’t previously used Zoom, simply go to www.zoom.us. It is free and simple to download to a device. Then, enter the Zoom Webinar number which is 923 2892 2540. There is no passcode for these events.

Also, Karen Vuranch may be contacted for a link directly to the Zoom room and for more information at kvuranch@concord.edu or by calling 304-384-5275.

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