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Interview: Marci Lucht of LITTLE WOMEN at Lyric Arts

This production runs from June 3 through June 26th

Interview: Marci Lucht of LITTLE WOMEN at Lyric Arts "Jo March isn't what you call your typical prim and proper Victorian lady. She's rebellious, opinionated, and certainly isn't afraid to speak her mind. As she and her sisters grow up in the middle of the Civil War, they strive to be brave, intelligent, and imaginative young women. But the world around them has other plans. While Jo aspires to become a great American novelist, her sisters-Beth, Meg, and Amy-also tend to their private dreams while juggling society's expectations of them. Based on Louisa May Alcott's famous coming-of-age story, this new adaptation by Kate Hamill is filled with the heart, spunk, and beautiful imperfection that makes the March sisters and their story such a timeless classic."

We chat with Marci Lucht who plays Meg March about her role and the production.

How does it feel to have live audiences and theatres back?
Exciting and fulfilling in a way that was deeply missed by so many of us. Over the last few years performers and audiences have craved connection, specifically the live magic that theatre evokes. Saying it's good to be back is an understatement.
What inspired you to pursue theatre?
I was in elementary school and I saw a production of To Kill a Mockingbird, back when the Guthrie was located in the Walker Art Center. The set was bare - just this huge tire swing in the center of the room. The atmosphere was electric - it just hummed you know? I'd never experienced anything like that visceral energy before.
Scout came onstage and it was over. I knew at that moment - I was done for. It felt big.
How does this role compare to other roles you've played?
Outside of Shakespearian work, Meg is by far the most recognizable character I've played. She's universally beloved; the women in my family were floored to discover I had gotten the part. The March sisters mean so much to so many, I was exceedingly grateful to be given the opportunity to explore such a titan of the American canon. There have been so many phenomenal artists who have played this role, you definitely go into the process knowing that you have "shoes to fill" so to speak.
What was your process for developing your character?
I listened, particularly to what was said about Meg in the script and what she said about herself. This offered insight to her role within the family as well as what may be beyond the text. I wanted aspects of her to be unexpected. My goal was to establish Meg's desires and needs in an unapologetic way. To go beyond her being simply sweet and not shy away from her full personality, even when those aspects did not align with what was feminine or polite. The moments when she's not this proper lady we all celebrate are the most exciting to me. Kate Hamill's adaptation is pure fun so the instinct to play and stretch the limitations of archetypes were definitely encouraged.
Do you have a favorite moment in the show?
Working with the cast has been remarkable fun - I love watching Antonia, Grace and Nina. ( Jo, Amy and Beth - respectively.) We all feel like family now, we've formed a little odd-ball cohort and it's lovely. Also, the dancing - I'm a sucker for a good ballroom scene complete with the dancing and the blushing and the whole Bridgerton-esq business. Does he like me? Where's my fan!? Love it.
Also, the moments between Jo and Laurie are so beautifully articulated in our production. Deryck and Antonia are spectacular. The exquisite friendship at the heart of the Jo/Laurie relationship often gets maligned as merely bittersweet but those scenes are so richly reimagined under Kate's pen - it's mesmerizing to watch unfold.
Did you face any challenges with your character or the production?
Folks on this project worked tirelessly to keep each other as safe as possible. The staff and crew at Lyric Arts is just amazing when it comes to keeping people protected. As an actor, I felt cared for and it alleviated a lot of anxiety around performing in the midst of an ongoing pandemic. Although I'll admit it's been an adjustment rehearsing in masks - I am getting used to spitting on myself! if anything it's done wonders for my articulation.
How was working with the cast and the creative team?
After a few years of rescheduled/cancelled/postponed theatre work this was an exhilarating return to large scale production. Folks were really excited to collaborate and draw energy from the group - it was like coming home again, truly. That may sound cornball but there was an excitement to the room that was palpable that first day. I think it informed our production, we had a damn good time - a healthy amount of silliness and sense of community that kept us fed and focused.
What do you hope the audience takes away from seeing this production?
We live in tumultuous times. Like us, the characters in this play struggle amidst a country divided, social injustice, and a hostile political landscape. Jo's journey of self actualization is rife with relevant commentary regarding the constraints our society puts on those who are unwilling to conform. My hope is that audiences will question any inherent prejudices or biases they carry, and walk away willing to question inherent gender roles and the performance of gender as it moves beyond binary.

What are your favorite local spots?

Make sure to check out Serum's - two words: chicken wings. That's all I'll say.
Thank you Marci for your time!

For more ticket and show information, click here

Photo courtesy of Marci Lucht

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