Hat’s off to Chattering Chipmunks senior 4-H member, Cailin Twomey-Mulvey for wonderful theatrical adaptation of Little Women held at the the North Country Alliance Church on Friday May 24th, 2013. The play, with its 35 scenes divided into 2 acts, lasted for about 2 hours and 15 minutes. Members of her 4-H club, the Chattering Chipmunks, served as the cast for the play. The novel Little Women has been a personal favorite of Cailin’s since she was a young girl. Now at age 18, it remains a guidebook for her whenever she needs an answer to one of life’s many problems.
Cailin’s favorite scene in the play was both difficult for her to write and to watch. In the scene, Jo (the main character) talks to to Marmee (her mother) about her temper, something Cailin can relate to on a personal level. Another emotional scene for Cailin occurs in Act 2, Scene 18, in which a telegram arrives informing the family that Jo’s father is very ill. In response to the devastating news, Marmee rushes off to be with him. Cailin describes the way that her fellow 4-Hers portrays this scene as “bringing a tear to your eye.” It was a very touching scene that provoked emotion from the audience. It was not just this scene that drew emotion from the audience. Cailin said that “the way in which the crew performs the entire play is very touching”. For the performance, Cailin read the part of the narrator.
The play was a result of Melissa Sayward, the club leader of the Chattering Chipmunks, approaching Cailin to write and direct a play for the group. Cailin was thrilled with the opportunity. Once she learned that the members who were interested in the performing in a play were a group of junior girls with one young man, she knew right away which story she was going to adapt. Cailin spent weeks writing her adaptation last summer. She included intricate dialogue to keep her play as close to the original story. She added a role of the narrator to help move the story along so that she could include Louisa May Alcott’s entire story in the span of just one play.
Many of the costumes for the play were donated by Riverside Thrift Shop, although a number of them were made specifically for certain characters by Cailin’s grandmother. Several other members of the cast also made or brought in their costumes. The painted backdrops for the play were the creation of leader Elizabeth Boolukos and her team of dedicated 4H members.
Cailin plans to become an educator, primarily working with kindergarten and preschool age children and plans to be involved with 4-H as a project leader next year. Cailin finds it “most inspiring to teach younger children. There is so much potential for them to take what they have learned from you and shine.” She would like to send a special thanks to all of the parents of her 4-H cast for allowing their children to devote their time to making this play spectacular, to her aunts Rowen and Jessica, and to her cousins Trillium and Anson, whom Cailin says, “are always the core of my inspirations and thoughts”. Cailin’s grandmother has played an inspirational role in her life teaching her about art and encouraging her to always be creative.