I remember reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott when I was in 6th or 7th grade. I loved the book. I laughed, cried, felt the joy of all four sisters, and (like most people I know) wanted to be a little like Jo.

I never, ever, imagined myself as Marmee. 

For the past two months, Marmee has been my alter ego. When I am not at work, doing chores, or being mom – I am Marmee. Of course, my kid have also been trolls.

Thus is the life of a family involved in community theatre. (Huh, how many of you were wondering about that troll comment….) My two girls and I have been rehearsing with a bevy of talent for the Minden Community Players production of Little Women. If you have never been involved in a community production; you literally gain another family for a little while. I have four wonderful daughters I have broken up fights between repeatedly, married off, mourned, and celebrated every week. I have friends who have helped build a beautiful home for the March family, brought cape cod to life, and guided us all along the way. I inherited an amazing Aunt, who seems to enjoy her fan a little too much. And, I have seen Jo’s stories come to life: complete with sword fights, trolls and hags.

Directors Dawn Thompson and Ken Vyvlecka worked very hard to see their vision come to fruition. They encouraged us and guided the entire cast. They have taken a cast of 40 people and created a fantastic production that even amazes the actors onstage. Seriously. It is amazing to see how hard these kids have worked and when I say kids, that is what I mean. Many of our cast members are still in high school. The rest of the cast is also amazingly talented – just older (not necessarily wiser, but older). Most of us old folk have been in theater productions before, and we are still amazed by the hard work the younger cast has put into this production. Seriously, it was often hard for me to find time to learn my lines. I can’t imagine being in high school and working on this.

Everyone has worked hard – even backstage. We have one of the best production crews around, in my humble opinion (Yes, my husband moves scenery…in the wings…offstage). Want to see fast scene changes? We have those. We have a kite that flies. We have one crew member who also helps bring the hags to life in Jo’s story. 

I will miss this extended family. I will miss laughing as real life sisters fight onstage (though I have been told their arguing is not too far a stretch from everyday life). I will miss the laughter, the joy, the tears. Yes, tears. I won’t ruin it, but if you have read this book, you probably know what I am talking about.

Then again…you might be wondering what in the heck I am talking about. Either way, this is the last weekend to enjoy this amazing musical. We have had two weekends already-six shows-and six very happy audiences. Will you join us this weekend? performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday March 20; and at 2:30 p.m. Saturday March 21 and Sunday March 22. 

Come, join us as we laugh, cry, sing and dance. I sincerely hope to see you there.

Tickets are $15 and available through the Minden Opera House.

Pictures courtesy of Kelle Hunt and Minden Community Players.

little women logo

Marmee, Aunt March (Kelle Hunt) and Mrs. Kirk (Janene Hill)
Marmee, Aunt March (Kelle Hunt) and Mrs. Kirk (Janene Hill)


The chaos that is the green room
The chaos that is the green room

Dotti Gramke

Dotti was born and raised in Southwest Wyoming and moved to Nebraska after falling head-over-heels for a Nebraska boy in college; and married him. She is the mother of two beautiful girls. In the past, Dotti has worked as a reporter for two different Nebraska newspapers, as well as a freelance writer. She is an active photographer, and her art was shown in a gallery in Wyoming, in a display of Nebraska Photographers at the Hastings Museum and as the feature artist at the Minden Opera House. If you don't see her with her camera or her family, you might find Dotti at home--chasing chickens and cows.