Jane Alexander and David Gerroll Set for PBS's Marvel-Led AMERICAN MASTERS; Airs 12/28
Additional casting has been announced for the upcoming PBS special AMERICAN MASTERS starring Elizabeth Marvel as Louisa May Alcott. The cast will include Daniel Gerroll as Bronson Alcott and Jane Alexander as Ednah Cheney. The special is entitled "Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women" and will air on PBS on December 28th at 9:00pm.
Starring as Louisa is the acclaimed Elizabeth Marvel whose New York theatre credits including Top Girls, Fifty Words, the Public Theater Productions of Troilus and Cressida and King Lear, the Shakespeare in the Park production of Henry V, and more. Elizabeth, who has also appeared in Burn After Reading, The Good Wife, Nurse Jackie, and more will next be seen on the New York stage in March in Suzan-Lori Parks' "The Book of Grace."
In Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind Little Women, Marvel brings Alcott's complex story to vivid life. Louisa's life was no children's book: she worked as a servant, a seamstress, and a Civil War nurse before becoming a millionaire celebrity writing "moral pap for the young," as she called it. Under pen names and anonymously, she also wrote stories with enough drugs, sex and crime to prove the author was no "little" woman. When she died, Alcott took her secret identity as a pulp fiction writer with her, and kept it for nearly a half-century.
Jane Alexander received a Tony Award for Broadway's "The Great White Hope," and Tony Award nominations for "Honour," "The Sisters Rosensweig," "The Visit," "First Monday in October," "Find Your Way Home" and "6 Rms Riv Vu." She also received a Drama Desk and Theatre World Award for "The Great White Hope" and an Obie for "The Sisters Rosensweig." She is a four-time Oscar nominee for the films "Testament," "Kramer vs. Kramer," "All the President's Men" and "The Great White Hope." On television, she won an Emmy Award for the movie "Playing for Time" and a Television Critic's Circle Award for her portrayal of Eleanor Roosevelt in "Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years." She received a Daytime Emmy Award nomination for Showtime's "Carry Me Home," directed by her son Jace Alexander. She received the Emmy Award for "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie" for her portrayal of "Sara Roosevelt" in HBO's "Warm Springs." Ms. Alexander is the author of "Command Performance: An Actress in the Theater of Politics," documenting her tenure as chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1993-1997.
Daniel Gerroll's Broadway credits include Plenty, Enchanted April, The Homecoming, High Society,and Slab Boys. He won an OBIE for appearing in Off-Broadway's The Shaughraun.
The author of Little Women is an almost universally recognized name. Her reputation as a morally upstanding New England spinster, reflecting the conventional propriety of late 19th-century Concord, is firmly established. However, raised among reformers, Transcendentalists and skeptics, the intellectual protégé of Emerson and Hawthorne and Thoreau, Alcott was actually a free thinker with democratic ideals and progressive values about women - a worldly careerist of sorts. Most surprising is that she led, under the pseudonym A.M. Barnard, a literary double life, undiscovered until the 1940s. As Barnard, Alcott penned scandalous, sensational works with characters running the gamut from murderers and revolutionaries to cross-dressers and opium addicts - a far cry from her familiar fatherly mentors, courageous mothers and appropriately impish children.
Daniel Gerroll Photo Credit: Courtesy of Damons TV