When Tiverton High School student Carrie Monroe started brainstorming on her senior project, she knew she wanted to incorporate both her lifelong passion for theater and her goal to work in special needs education. The project, a graduation requirement in Tiverton, encourages students to undertake a “learning stretch,” working with a mentor, and presenting a finished product at the end of the academic year.
Carrie decided to mount a stage production in her community, her first undertaking from the director’s chair. She approached her own director, Boston-based Emerald Theatre Company co-founder Scott Saposnik, about overseeing the project. “His level of professionalism opened up the theater for me,” says Monroe on her decision to ask Saposnik to mentor her project.
Monroe knew she wanted to put on a show that was family-oriented, and decided on a production of Louisa May Alcott’s classic Little Women. To raise funds for the play, Carrie baked over 95 pies and sold every last piece, with the community coming out in huge support of her directorial debut to benefit the Autism Awareness Foundation.
When finding a venue, Carrie’s selfless community service efforts came into play. A long-time volunteer at Circle of Friends, a monthly social event held at the Little Compton Community Center for people with disabilities and their families, the LCCC gladly donated the space.
After months of initial planning, Monroe held auditions in January. A long-time actor but first time director, Carrie said the process has given her a new sense of confidence in herself. She has been humbled by all of the community support she’s received.
Billed for the first week in May, the production is fast approaching and Carrie could not be more eloquent and excited when speaking about her hard work coming to life on the stage. “There’s an adrenaline rush,” says Monroe, “and of course some jitter bugs.” With lines learned and costumed dress rehearsals, Carrie has watched an idea over a year in the making become a reality that she’s excited to share with her community. Little Women will be playing May 3-5. For more information call 401-297-1142 or visit the Little Compton Community Center website.