Summer theater opens with ‘Little Women’

Staff Report

Louisa May Alcott’s classic “Little Women” will launch the Oberlin Summer Theater Festival’s 10th season.

Recommended for ages six and up, it is the timeless coming-of-age story of the four young March girls – tempestuous Jo, motherly Meg, shy Beth, and spoiled youngest daughter Amy – who struggle to keep their family going while their father is away in the Civil War.

“Little Women” will run from June 22 to Aug. 5.

Like all Oberlin Summer Theater Festival performances, it is family-friendly and free of charge.

Other summer stage productions include:

• William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” July 6 to Aug. 4. Set against the backdrop of two feuding families in Verona, Italy, the story follows two star-crossed lovers who attempt to surmount all obstacles to be together.

This popular play contains some of Shakespeare’s most familiar and accessible poetry, as well as thrilling sword fights, comic relief and unforgettable characters. It is recommended for ages eight and up.

• William Inge’s “Picnic,” July 20 to Aug. 4. It centers on a group of lonely women in a small Kansas town whose lives are disrupted by a charming drifter. Hearts are broken, and lives are changed in this bittersweet drama. It is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Often considered William Inge’s masterpiece, the play explores with sensitivity and compassion the universal themes of rites of passage, sexual repression, and disappointment. Picnic won both the New York Drama Circle Critics Award for best play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1953.

Day and evening performances are offered of all three plays. The full schedule can be found at

The festival will again feature an Acting Shakespeare Intensive day camp for high school students in grades nine through 12. Activities will focus on performance skills, including the basics of truthful acting and handling Shakespearean text, voice, and movement, all culminating in a scene study.

The one-week camp will take place July 30 to Aug. 3 and costs $100, with need-based aid available. Visit email to enroll or get more information.

Oberlin Summer Theater Festival organizers believe the experience of attending live professional theater should be available to everyone, and its audience continues to grow. In 2017, the OSTF welcomed more than 12,000 patrons to Hall Auditorium on North Main Street.

To reserve tickets for performances, call the box office at 440-775-8169 or, from the festival’s website, follow the events link to Ticket requests should include name, address, email, and telephone number as well as the name and date of the show and the number of tickets requested.

Oberlin Summer Theater Festival is made possible through support from Oberlin College and Conservatory, the city of Oberlin, Oberlin Business Partnership, the Ohio Arts Council, the Nord Family Foundation, Nordson Corporation Foundation, and audience members.

Staff Report