PORTRAYAL: Louisa May Alcott comes to life Oct. 24

Debra Miller will portray Louisa May Alcott in a performance at South Whitley Community Public Library, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 24.
Staff Writer

The next installment of South Whitley Community Public Library’s author series brings Louisa May Alcott to life through re-enactor Debra Miller.

The performance will be 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 24.

Alcott, a writer from the Civil War era, is best known as the author of “Little Women,” a story that follows the four March sisters as they grow into adulthood and find their own successes. The story is credited with allowing girls to see the possibilities for individual achievement and vocations that existed outside of the domestic world they were socialized into at the time.

“In the pages of ‘Little Women,’ young and adolescent girls read the normalization of ambitious women. This provided an alternative to the previously normalized gender roles,” said Barbara Sicherman in “Well Read Lives: How Books Inspired A Generation of American Women.”

Louisa May Alcott was so much more than the author of “Little Women” though. She was a poet and author, abolitionist and nurse, patriot and suffragist. 

During Miller’s 45-minute performance, the audience meets with this prolific American author at the height of her health and success.  They will learn of the hopes, the heartbreaks and the experiences of Alcott’s life from which she drew inspiration for her novels, short stories and poems.
This theatrical presentation, written using excerpts from her letters and journals, allows Louisa May Alcott to speak to the audience in her own words; of her childhood, her experiences as a Civil War nurse, her struggles to support her family and the equal rights of all.  

Debra Miller is a professional actress, vocalist and voice-over talent with over 30 years of experience as a performer for live audiences, television and film. In 2010 she began creating her own company focused on writing and producing one-woman plays in which she portrays important historical figures such as authors Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Dolley Madison and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Debra won Best Actress in the 2004 Chicago Indiefest for her performance in her first film, “Zen Noir.”

The program is free and open to the public.