Monday, May 21 , 2018, 9:06 pm | Fair 61º

 
 
 
 

For One Young Actress, ‘Little Women’ Marks a Big Turning Point

Chryanthe Pantages had her doubts at first, but her experience with the Showstoppers Theatre Productions' musical has her hooked.

Every year, aspiring triple threats ranging from the humblest singer to the most melodramatic thespian unite for the summer session of Showstoppers Theatre Productions.

Showstoppers is a nonprofit organization that gives teenagers the chance to sing, dance and act as they stage a Broadway musical. This year, we are putting on the musical Little Women.

Based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott, Little Women is about a poor but persevering family during the turbulence and hardship of the Civil War. The story centers on Jo, a rambunctious and passionate writer who strives to inspire and unite her sisters: the soft-spoken romantic Meg, kindhearted Beth, and naïve and wishful Amy. Together the four sisters, with their enduring mother, Marmee, fight their way through the obstacles each new day brings.

When I reluctantly agreed to join Showstoppers this year, I didn’t know what Little Women was about, and was going on the one song from its repertoire I had ever heard, Astonishing. I also had never been in a legitimate musical. All things taken into consideration, I may not have joined if I knew what I was getting myself into. Now, however, I fear I’m hooked for good, as Showstoppers has been a truly astounding experience.

When we first started this summer session, we were exposed to all the roles through songs and script reading. All of us were taught choreography for I’d Be Delighted and Five Forever in anticipation of the dance portion of tryouts. We also learned small group scenes, partner scenes and our choice of a selection of songs for auditions. After three days of tryouts, and several more of anxious anticipation, we were finally told the casting.

In the past five weeks, since the show was double cast, our two casts have learned to watch each other to synchronize our main staging, while also animating our characters with our individual style and nuance. We help each other in learning our lines, reviewing dances and practicing harmonies.

However, this show would not be possible without the help of several dedicated volunteers. Thanks to a host of adults, sets have been built, custom-made costumes sewn, and props from globes to beach buggies have been donated or built. This year, Showstoppers is supported by David Holmes of San Marcos High School Theatre Department, Mary Gibson of Santa Barbara City College Theatre Department, the UCSB Theatre Department, David Johnson and the Granada Theatre.

Meanwhile, several Showstoppers alumni make sure rehearsals run smoothly while also directing warm-ups, and working with cast members and characters individually on songs and scenes to improve what we take to the stage.

Chryanthe Pantages plays Jo in Showstoppers Theatre Productions Little Women.

» Little Women

» Showstoppers Theatre Productions

» 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday

» La Colina Junior High School, 4025 Foothill Road, Santa Barbara

» Tickets are $10 at the door

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level
×

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >