March sisters come to life at this Port Coquitlam high school

March sisters come to life at this Port Coquitlam high school

Riverside Secondary School in Port Coquitlam switched genders for Professor Bhaer in Little Women – The Musical. Production begins on February 2, 2023.

The pandemic made her reconsider her choice of show.

In light of the drop in enrollment for Musical Theater Class 10–12 at Riverside Secondary in Port Coquitlam, students at the school’s River’s Edge Theater last May proposed a smaller production for 2023.

Why not the musical Little Women? they asked acting teacher Nicole Roberge at the time.

After all, the cast would be mostly female and there would be 30 actors – not 60 – to double cast the 15 roles.

“It’s very different from previous tracks we did at Riverside,” Roberge said.

“It’s a lot more intimate.”

Last fall, after an audition, Roberge chose 12th grader Sophia Dato and Scarlett Stratton, an 11th grader who also trains at Lindbjerg Academy of Performing Arts in the Rising Stars Advance program, as Jo March to star in Little Women, take turns: The Musical.

Based on the semi-autobiographical novels by Louisa May Alcott written in 1868–69, Little Women is set in a house in Concord, Mass. and tells the story of the four March sisters:

Jo, a writer Meg, a traditionalist Beth, a shy girl Amy, the romantic

Her father serves in the American Civil War.

The work was adapted into a musical with a book penned by Allan Knee, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland.

The production of The River’s Edge follows her script; However, there is a gender change for one character: Professor Bhaer.

“We wanted to emphasize the LGBTQ side and make the game as inclusive as possible,” said Stratton, who aspires to a career as a neonatal surgeon in New York City after graduation.

Dato, who plans to train at the University of Arizona-Tempe or Douglas College to be an elementary school teacher this fall, said Jo March has been a character she’s loved since reading the book five years ago.

She also saw the 2019 film version starring Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh during the pandemic.

Dato said she connects to the role because she’s also a writer.

“Jo defies the social norms of her time,” Stratton added. “She’s wearing pants. She shakes hands with people she has met. She chops fireworks. She wants to be different and do something incredible with her life. She is an inspiration to all of us!”

Meanwhile, River’s Edge Theater will travel to New Westminster in May to represent School District 43 – and its Theater Zone – in NTS DramaFest, the theater competition for high schools across BC

The team will present their student-written play I’m Fine, produced in association with the Association of BC Drama Educators (ABCDE), at the festival.

Tickets for Little Women: The Musical are $13/$10. The show runs on February 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th, 10th and 11th at Riverside Secondary (2215 Reeve St., Port Coquitlam). Visit the school’s website for tickets or click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *