“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, speaking to the other March sisters in the first chapter of Little Women. The opening chapters of this beloved novel, the short story, “What the Bells Saw and Said,” and other Alcott selections are adapted and performed by ELTC’s artistic director, Gayle Stahlhuth in Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas.
Little Women begins with Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy discussing their plans for Christmas. The next day, they give their breakfast to a poor family, Jo entertains family and friends by presenting a play she’s written, and neighbors give the March family a culinary surprise. Their mother, Marmee, also reads a letter from their father, who misses his “little women” very much. He’s a chaplain with the Union army in the Civil War.
In “What the Bells Saw and Said,” the spirits of the church bells meet at midnight every Christmas Eve to discuss the state of affairs where they ring. But no matter how their churches are faring, they ring with continued hope for peace, love, and good will for all.
Gayle Stahlhuth, who’s been performing one-person shows for over 35 years, including her own Lou: The Remarkable Miss Alcott, brings to life thirty-plus characters in her memorized, unique storytelling style. With the flick of the wrist and change of accent, she glides seamlessly from one character to another in this tour-de-force performance that delights all ages.
As artistic director of the award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company since 1999, she’s produced over 90 different productions, and directed over half of them