The special Sesquicentennial season begins this week.
Each mainstage production this season was chosen specifically to represent a 25-year segment of Minnesota State University, Mankato’s 150-year history, starting with the musical, “Little Women.”
Director Melissa Rosenberger said, “The same time that “Little Women” (the story) was published, was the first year our campus was open and students could start taking classes. For the 150 years we are covering, we broke it down into quadrants of 25. The 1868 year lined up. That was it.”
Book by Allan Knee, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, and music by Jason Howland, “Little Women” is sure to be a beautiful show. Most people have read the book, but not many have seen the musical, which adds so much to the already brilliant story.
Based on Louisa May Alcott’s life, “Little Women” follows the lives of the March sisters; Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy. With help from each other, their mother Marmee, friends and their environments, each of these girls grow up to learn about the important things in life. Jo, an aspiring writer, is not having the best of luck selling her stories. With advice from a friend and inspiration from her personal life, Jo learns to write stories from the heart.
The cast of this production feels so lucky to have the chance to step into these roles and play such important characters. Jo March is an incredible character because she does not do what is expected of her. She lives for experiences and she is not afraid, something that would never happen in this time period.
Alexis Vencill, who plays Jo March, is loving this opportunity.
“Jo is a special character because she is such a strong, independent character who knows what she wants in a time when that was not the norm for women. It’s cool to play a character who’s almost a trailblazer for her time and who is so focused,” she said.
Rosenberger is extremely happy with the work she is seeing from the cast.
“The cast is my favorite part. I love the cast. You always have choices, but I like who turned out to the audition, I liked the options I had, and I really really loved the chemistry between everyone on stage,” she said.
The show opens this upcoming weekend, running Thursday, September 28th, Friday, September 29th and Saturday September 30th all at 7:30pm. The following weekend you can see the show Thursday, October 5th at 7:30pm, Friday, October 6th at 7:30pm, Saturday, October 7th at 2:00pm and 7:30pm, and the final performance will be Sunday, October 8th at 2:00pm.