Keizer Homegrown Conservatory, an offshoot of Keizer Homegrown Theatre (KHT) will present the world premiere of Finding Jo March beginning Friday, Jan. 13, on KHT’s stage in the Keizer Cultural Center.
Finding Jo March is not a typical adaptation of Little Women. The playwright, Laramie Dean, uses Little Women to help a young queer kid find themselves in the midst of modern day teenhood.
In this adaptation, the main character happens to share a name with the young writer in the book, Jo. As a young writer in modern times, Jo loves Little Women and attempts to write an adaptation of it. But when their friends show up to help out, things get mixed up between 1863 and present day. Roles are swapped and Jo finds themselves struggling to separate the March’s life in the book from their own real-life family upheaval. Parallels are drawn, family conflict is surfaced and Jo comes to realize that the only way past grief is through it.
Keizer Homegrown Conservatory was specifically designed for younger actors who get little opportunity to do fully staged theater, such as non-traditional students, or kids at college who do not have drama programs at their schools.
The entire production is directed by Loriann Schmidt, leader of the conservatory.
The cast includes: Rain Holland, Josie Cartensen, Mikyala Stevens, Gabriela Vargas, Celsea Wuster, Franca Hernandez, Robert McMorris, Henry Amato, Oliver Kirchner, Kyan Walsh and Toby Walsh.
Laramie Dean resides in Montana, where he serves as theatre director at Hellgate High School in Missoula. He is the author of the plays Frankenstein Among the Dead, Dracula and The Gorgon Sisters.
Performances are scheduled at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Jan. 13 and Jan. 14. There will also be a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Jan. 15. Tickets for each show is $12 and available at keizerhomegrowntheatre.org.