Little Women

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Sometimes When You Dream, Your Dreams Come True.

Louisa May Alcott’s beloved holiday story is a buoyant musical of romantic escapades, sibling rivalries and Christmas wishes. With their father off to fight the Civil War, the four March sisters have many imagined and real adventures. As they dream of their futures, encounter growing pains of youth and rise with courage to face their destiny, the March girls learn the true value of hope and family.

View the Little Women Program here.

Director’s Notes

“Love at peace with liberty.” You’ll hear Jo sing this, and you’ll watch her journey in pursuit of it, striving to discover a place, a person, a situation of her own choosing, in which comfort and freedom can coexist. I understand Jo’s desire, because mine is the same. Which is why I feel so fortunate to work here, where I’m surrounded by love and familiarity, but my risk-taking is encouraged, my desire for creation and innovation met with support and enthusiasm.

In the 150 years since the publication of Alcott’s novel, we haven’t lost our ability to empathize with Jo – if anything, we find ourselves ever more understanding of her ambition. In Little Women, I see real women; women endowed with bravery, agency, and imagination, women who are artists and adventurers, women who transform the lives of all those who enter their sphere.

Like the March house, the Chemainus Theatre Festival is, to me, a transformative space. I first came here 13 years ago, to play Meg in the premiere of Little Women. I found myself working with artists who have become dear friends and colleagues, some of whom are returning to tell this story a second time – including Jim, whose music transports us so beautifully to 19th century New England. Mark is close by as well, his mentorship and friendship invaluable.

Also among us in 2005 was Jeremy Tow, who played Meeks and Bhaer (performing his Artistic Director duties all the while). Working with him was a gift, particularly for a young artist at the beginning of her career. If our 2018 rehearsal room has been a good place to be – welcoming, warm, and rigorous – it’s because of Jeremy’s influence. And it’s exciting to now see a whole new group of young artists discover this very special theatre community. As Jo says, “there’s always room at our table.”

Welcome home, everyone.


About Julie McIsaac

A versatile director of theatre & opera, Julie is a graduate of Carleton University, CCPA, and the University of York (UK). Chemainus highlights: Pride & Prejudice, Harvey and Countryside Christmas. Elsewhere: Le nozze di Figaro (Opera Studio), My Rabbi (Sum Theatre), The Exquisite Hour (Relephant), and the award-winning Poly Queer Love Ballad. She is Associate Director of Corey Payette’s Children of God, also the co-creator of Les Filles du Roi.