On this episode of the Front Row, Clint Barrick visits with the Texas Tech University School of Theater and Dance during production week to talk with director, Kristen Rogers, about their upcoming production of Little Women.
Tell us about you and your relationship to the theater department.
I’m actually, technically still a PhD student at the School of Theater and Dance. I’m finishing my dissertation. So, I’ve been away for a couple of years. I actually live and teach in Austin, but they asked me to come back and come in as a guest director for this particular production. I’m sort of back and direction, and finishing up writing while I’m here.
Little Women hasn’t been done in a while, so give us a refresher about the story.
So, Little Women is based on the novel, Little Women, and the author wrote a novel that was kind of its own kind of genre and based the story and the characters on her and her sisters and their sort of growing up from adolescence into adulthood. The musical really captures the essence of the novel and brings it to life in a very theatrical and big way. It’s certainly a condensed version of the novel, everything is paired down a little bit but it also adds something really interesting and fun and entertaining in this kind of media. It follows the story, particularly of Joe. She is an aspiring writer and very much ahead of her time. She’s encourage to follow her dreams and pursue writing and go out into the world…it’s a really interesting blend of nostalgia for the time and has a contemporary relevance to girl power and women’s stories and the importance that those are, especially right now, gaining.
How did you become associated with this production?
Early on the production was set to be directed by professor Dean Nolan, but he had a professional acting opportunity that the school and the college wanted to support him in pursuing. So, they asked me to come in initially as a co-director and we were going to try to work hand-in-hand. But it quickly became clear that his professional gig was going to pull him away more than we may have imagined. They kind of handed me the reigns and I took what had begun before I arrived and turned it into what it is.
Listen to the full interview at the top of the article.