British Columbia

Mother-daughter duo star in stage play of Little Women

Life imitates art as Michelle Creber and mother Monique Creber take on roles of daughter Jo and mother Marmee in musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women.

Michelle Creber, Monique Creber, take on classic story they say still resonates with modern audiences

Monique Creber (left) and daughter Michelle Creber (right) play Marmee March and daughter Jo March in a musical adaptation of Little Women at Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver. (Kevin Clark)

Art is imitating life on a West Vancouver stage this month as a local mother and daughter acting team is starring in a musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. 

Monique Creber plays matriarch Margaret (Marmee) March and Michelle Creber takes on the role of Josephine (Jo) March in the classic tale of four sisters coming of age in 1860s New England.

It is the first time the Crebers have been cast alongside each other in principal roles and both actresses are excited to play strong female characters in a story they say is still relevant for modern audiences. 

Feminist pioneer

"Louisa May Alcott was a pioneer and kind of the beginning of a feminist movement," Michelle Creber told The Early Edition guest host Michelle Eliot.

"She grew up in a world where women weren't considered equal and she carved a path for women who wanted to be successful and have a voice," said Creber.

The actress said wearing restrictive costumes such as hoop skirts and researching the etiquette expected of women during that time period made her realize how much is taken for granted now.

"We get to have careers and wear whatever we want and those women didn't have that privilege. There were so many restrictions," she said.

"I hope when women come see the show they remember we have come really far and it wasn't that long ago."

Monique Creber said the play's original plot and the musical numbers added to this particular staging of the show are appropriate for family members of all ages to attend over the holiday season.

"It is wholesome and relevant for multiple generations at the same time," she said.

All in the family

For Monique Creber, watching the next generation of her own family has been an additional thrill.

"[Wendesday night] was opening night and there was a moment where I didn't need to rush back to the dressing room and I could watch my daughter perform," said Creber.

"I certainly felt a great sense of pride watching her take on this incredible role and do such an amazing job at it."

Michelle Creber, 18, says it makes it easier for her character Jo to connect with her on-stage mom given that the role is being played by Creber's own real-life mother. (Kevin Clark)

Michelle Creber has been acting since age four and was immersed in musical theatre from a young age at her parent's music school.

"This is a really wonderful experience for us," she said. "It's always easier to be connected to your mom on stage when it is actually your mom."

The Creber women hope audiences appreciate both the production and how far women have come since Alcott penned her semi-autobiographical novel. 

"I hope when people watch the show they feel thankful for what they [have] and respect the women who did have to suffer," said Michelle Creber.

Little Women runs until Dec. 30 at the Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver.

With files from The Early Edition.

To hear the complete interview click on the audio link below: