Behind the scenes of Lebanon Trail’s “Little Women”

Navya Grandhe, Assistant editor in chief

Lebanon Trail theater brings a tale of growth, drama, and conflict to life through their second musical production of the year, Little Women. The theater organization has been planning and practicing this performance since November of last year, and finally opened its doors on the night of January 26, 2023. 

Bringing a character to life is something that takes immense time, work, and dedication revealed Brianna Willingham, who was cast as the lead character Jo March. 

“Jo is a very fierce and fiery character, so becoming her takes a lot of focus and energy”, Willingham said. “This is my dream role to play on stage so getting the opportunity to play her was incredible.”

Opening night is the first day for everyone to display the hard work put into the creation of their play, and see their production come to life. 

“The energy that comes from opening night is unmatched,” Willingham said. “I always feel so energetic and ready for the opening of a show and this was no different.”

Performing in front of many people can be nerve racking but is a normal part of the work done by the theater students. 

“Everyone was very anxious before we opened, but we have never felt more prepared for a show, so the confidence levels were high”, said Willingham. “To shake off anxiety before a show, we do a warm up called shake out where we get all of the energy moving in our bodies. It never fails.”

In addition to the actors that are seen on stage, there are a lot of intricate elements that go into the production of the play that the stage manager and backstage crew perfects before opening night. 

“During rehearsals, the role of the stage manager is keeping track of acting and technical elements, being the bridge between the directors and members of the cast and crew”, stage manager Sneha Muthiah said.“During the performances, the stage manager is the one running the show, telling lights and sound when to go to make sure everything goes as well as it can!”

Managing almost everything that happens visually onstage can be an intimidating task especially for a first timer but can definitely be rewarding, explained Sneha Muthiah. 

“This was my first time stage managing a show, so it was definitely a process”, Muthiah said.

“It can be daunting, especially with a musical that has so many different elements, but I had such incredible support to make it easier. Asra Yousuf and Marissa Puga were my assistants and Davenport was a great guide for me. It was definitely stressful at times, but I loved it in the end.”

Throughout it all, the theater cast and crew are a close knit group of people who strive for perfection and continue to support each other in their endeavors. 

“I have had the best experiences with LT theater over the past four years and I am honestly dreading the idea of not doing another musical with this amazing group”, Willingham said.  “I’m going to miss it so much and could not have asked for a better company and better directors to guide me.”