TCOE debuts Little Women on the little screen

Tulare County Office of Education Theatre Co. debuts Little Women: The Musical to stream online, in person this Saturday

VISALIA – Beloved play Little Women is coming to a little screen near you this month.

The Tulare County Office of Education (TCOE) Theatre Company announced the debut of their summer show, Little Women: The Musical. Due to COVID-19 restrictions on performers and audiences, the Theatre Company had to film the production. However, Little Women: The Musical and the preshow From Page to Stage, will be shown in the Redwood Conference Center of TCOE’s administration building at 6200 South Mooney Boulevard in Visalia.

The first showing was held Saturday, Aug. 7, and the public is encouraged to come and watch with the cast for their second showing on Saturday, Aug. 14, at 2 p.m. The box office opens 30 minutes prior to each showing and donations are welcome. Refreshments will also be available for purchase. Masks are required. The production can be streamed online for purchase, as well.

“We had plans to only stream the show this summer, but we are beyond thrilled that county superintendent Tim Hire is giving us this opportunity to gather to watch this show together,” theater company director Bethany Rader said. “We’re excited to get people back enjoying theater again. The cast and production staff are greatly looking forward to sharing this project with everyone in person—and being able to sit with their friends and family to watch the show!”

The main production, Little Women: The Musical, is the coming-of-age story based on the novel, Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. The story is about the four March sisters, their mother, and their lives while their father is away during the Civil War. Prior to the showing of Little Women: The Musical, audiences will enjoy a preshow entitled From Page to Stage. It was designed by Theatre Company choreographer and music director Nicole Zweifel and Charlotte Garcia Da Rosa. It is a grouping of songs from musicals that were books first or shows that are based on books.

“This is the first time we have ever had a preshow for our summer production,” Rader said. “It was very important to us to have a preshow, especially this summer. We wanted to give more students a chance to perform since Little Women has a smaller cast, and since we had to cancel our spring and summer shows in 2020. We felt like we wanted to make up for some lost time and get our students back into a theater again, anyway possible.”

Principal Characters

Jo March –  Tessa Hemphill (Redwood High School)
Meg March –  Kathy Gonzalez (Redwood High School)
Beth March – Elisabeth Smith (Redwood High School)
Amy March – Lyra Paez (Golden West High School)
Marmee March – Paige Ragan (Mt. Whitney High School)
Laurie Laurence – Brennan Church (Golden West High School)
John Brooke – Jacob Lucio (Redwood High School)
Mr. Laurence – Cade Gann (Redwood High School)
Aunt March – Emilie Walker (Alum)

The production will also be available to stream Aug. 6, 7 and 8, and Aug. 13, 14 and 15. Links to stream Little Women will be available Aug. 5 at tcoe.org/TheatreCo. The cost to stream at home is $15 per person or $30 per family.

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