Little Women: What It Takes To Make A Show

Explore part of what it was like to be backstage before a showing of EBHS’s 2022 spring musical ‘Little Women’.


(left to right) Keira Marquez (12), Alex Corrallo (12), Sophia Rullo (11), Madison Blaustein (12), and Celia Schmeidler (12) have been transformed from teenage girls living in 2022 to a humble family from the 1800s.

Alefiya Presswala, Bear Hub Editor

The stage is set. The lights are dimmed. It is March 11, 2022, opening night of EBHS’s spring musical production, Little Women. As the play goes on, you are amazed by the set design and the light changes, and the way the actors never seem to break character. All of a sudden, you’re wondering how your fellow classmates were even able to put on such a spectacular production in a seemingly short amount of time. If you’re like me, this was your exact thought process while watching Little Women. Luckily for you, I was able to get a sneak peek of what it’s like to be backstage before the show begins and I’ve broken it down for you.

When I visited the cast and crew on the night of their second show, the first thing I noticed after adjusting to the hustle and bustle environment was the way that everyone functioned as a seamless team. Everyone was constantly learning from and helping each other. Senior Celia Schmeidler, who played Meg March, observed that it was “really fun getting to work with the other girls because in the process it’s almost like we started acting like sisters too.”
The closeness she described is something that was reflected in the actors’ performances- and it even helped many get into the mindsets of their characters!
For senior actor Eilam Ben-Zvi, “getting into the emotional mindset of John Brooke was quite simple despite him being from Civil Car era America and [Eilam] being from 2022 America; it’s mostly because emotions are timeless. Whether he was passionate about a book, a dance, or the war, passion is passion. All [Eilam] needed to do was identify his emotional reactions or drive for each scene he was in.”

The actors’ hard work is, of course, integral to the show, but there are tons of other people to be credited for a great production. The first person is the director, Mr. ‘JD’ Davis. Before opening house, he has the cast do some vocal exercises such as “saying the Ps”, a sort of tongue-twister to get warmed up. The next group of people that deserve praise are Mr. Good and his orchestra that beautifully accompanies the various musical numbers of the production and serves as the soundtrack for the entire show. They are able to transform the mood from silly to serious with the flick of a finger. (See the gallery of photos below for a photo of a student who was solely in charge of all the percussion instruments during the show) The tech crew handles the lighting and they also play a large part in how the mood of the show changes from scene to scene. They must know all the sets and scenes by heart to know exactly which light setting to put on when. (See the gallery of photos below for a photo of the tech crew at their station located in the back of the EBHS auditorium)
And of course, what is a play without it’s stage managers? While their biggest responsibility is moving around the sets in between scenes of the show, they are also responsible for “organizing rehearsals, taking attendance, making sure backstage aspects (backdrops, set changes, props) are all taken into account, running music and making sure everything is communicated between the adults and the cast,” according to senior Justine Torres, who has been a stage manager for the Drama Club since her sophomore year.
Justine told the Hub: “My favorite part was the backstage work like running the ropes for backdrops and curtains, and running the beach scene with the kite. Knowing the backstage mechanics always intrigued me and getting to actually do then made me so happy to be part of the production.”

Getting to know a little bit more about the ‘behind the scenes’ of an EBHS production has certainly helped me appreciate the show even more. As senior Celia Schmeidler told the Hub about the theme of Little Women: “It has such a beautiful message about never giving up and how determination and persistence will lead you far.” It’s evident that the cast and crew of ‘Little Women’ understood this message thoroughly and applied it to every sense of their work to bring their audience three hours of music, laughter- and even a few tears.

Keep an eye out for Drama Club’s next event on Thursday April 7th at 7:00 PM: Improv Night. It’s sure to be another hit.