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Oscar Preview: ‘Little Women’ 11

Louisa May Alcott’s novel “Little Women” has been adapted many times for the screen – most recently by Greta Gerwig. That version is up for six Oscars, including best picture. In this week’s Art&Seek Spotlight, we conclude our Oscars Preview series by talking with Sarah Rasmussen, director of the Dallas Theater Center’s staging of “Little Women,” which opens Friday. Be sure to check out our other conversations about “Marriage Story,” “1917” and “Parasite” ahead of Sunday’s Academy Awards.

Sarah Rasmussen on …

… the difference in telling the story on screen vs. on stage:

“Film is a pretty realistic medium. So when we see a movie, part of the fun of that is going back in time and every detail of the teacups they used and all of that realism of the 1860s. In theater, it tends to be a little bit more poetic, a little less every specific detail and more of a live storytelling feel.”

… if you can inject a 21st Century mindset into 19th Century characters:

“I think what’s always interesting about theater is to simply lift up what’s already in the story and then let the audience interact with their own experience of living now in 2020. I feel like all stories are new in a way – whether it’s a contemporary story or if it’s an adaptation of a classic or if it’s a Shakespeare play – we’re watching it now, so we can’t help but see it through the lens of now.”

… Greta Gerwig not earning a directing nomination and how we value women’s voices:

“There’s a line in our adaptation where Jo says, ‘I wish I was a boy. If I were a man, I’d be thought of as a great talent.’ We do see I think male artists differently than we do female artists still in 2020. I think it’s one of the reasons why it’s really important to keep telling stories like this – to say this has been a struggle over decades and centuries for women.”