Ipswich High School Presents “Little Women”

The Winter Play
A lead in the play, Henry Zagarella, focuses on learning his lines.

This fall, Kelly Phelan, John Gayton, and Henry Zagarella will take the Ipswich High School stage as the lead actors in the production of “Little Women”. “Little Women” is a classic story of four daughters growing up. Jo March, (Kelly Phelan), is a very strong-willed woman who wants a career as a writer during a time when women didn’t have careers. Zagarella plays Theodore Laurence, the rich young boy next door who lives with his overprotective grandfather. Gayton plays John Brooke, a tutor to Laurie (Theodore Laurence) who falls in love with Meg (Jo’s oldest sister).

The seniors in the drama program have had the unique experience of having three different drama directors over their four years of high school. “It’s been an interesting ride. It is enlightening to see who can rise to meet different expectations, and for the most part, our cast and crew have proven adaptable,” said Scott Ames when asked how the kids handled the change in leadership over the past three years. The new drama instructor this year is Ms. Hasselbacher. When asked about the new director this year, Zagarella said, “She’s great! She really is a no-nonsense director, and she always keeps us focused and on task.”

The show is set to premiere on November 22nd. Scott Ames, a teacher at the high school, as well as a dedicated staff member of the drama department for 13 years, is confident the play will be ready to go on premiere night. “So far, everything has run smoothly. We’d always like more time to build the set, but I think that would be the case no matter how much time we had,” said Ames. The cast started rehearsing the last week in September, leaving them just about two months to make the play performance-ready. It will be interesting to see what kind of audience this show attracts. When asked, Zagarella said he feels, “an older audience would really appreciate it,” because the story is more of an American Classic. Ames, on the other hand, isn’t too sure; he agrees that it is a traditional show, but also thinks it will attract “our usual audience that knows that IHS puts on a good show”.

Just like all plays at Ipswich High School, “Little Women,” will show on three days. The play will first premiere Friday, November 22nd at 7:30 PM and will be shown again Saturday the 23rd at 7:30 PM. The final showing of Little Women will be on Sunday at 2:30 PM. The tickets to the show will be the usual cost of $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors.

Many members of the talented cast and crew this year are seniors. The drama department will suffer some large losses due to graduation this year, but the underclassmen always help to make up for lost members. Throughout his high school and middle school career, Henry Zagarella, has been a part of the drama department for six nonconsecutive years. Looking to the future, he is hoping to continue his participation in drama productions as he moves on to college. He is auditioning at the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut to be a part of the musical theater department. Zagarella, along with the whole cast, would all love it if everyone attended the play. The support means the world to them and it will be a great show!