With March being Women’s History Month, the Pasadena Museum of History is putting the spotlight on the life and works of one of America’s most renowned novelists and feminists — who, although dead 135 years, recently rose to popularity again after one of her books became a movie.
Audience members can take “Tea with Louisa May Alcott,” during a special living history presentation at the Shakespeare Club on Sunday, March 5 at 2 p.m.
Born in 1832, American novelist Louisa May Alcott, whose influence is still felt strongly in both the literary world and in women’s history, is best known as the author of the novel “Little Women” and its sequels “Little Men” and “Jo’s Boys.”
“This program was inspired by the upsurge of interest in Louisa May Alcott and her beloved novel ‘Little Women’ since the highly acclaimed 2019 movie by Greta Gerwig brought Alcott’s unforgettable characters to a new generation of fans,” Jeanette Bovard, museum spokesperson said. “Unfortunately, our earlier scheduling fell victim to COVID protocol closures. We are delighted that we are now able to offer this captivating program during Women’s History Month.”
Alcott’s life will be portrayed by performance artist, author, and educator Valerie Weich.
According to Bovard, the living history presentation “utilizes historical tools, costuming, activities, speech, and mannerisms to give audiences a sense of having stepped back in time.”
She said Weich will transform into Alcott both visually and intellectually by appearing in period attire and copying the speech and mannerisms of Alcott.
Weich will also speak on Alcott’s views about her fame, women inequality and the latter’s experience as a Civil War nurse, among other things.
“It’ll almost be like a lecture style format where I will be speaking directly to the audience and talking to them. I will be in character, as Louisa May Alcott, and will be talking to them about my life,” explained Weich. “It’s mostly a monologue but I will be talking to them and then later they can ask me questions..”
Weich became very interested in the life of Alcott, whom she regarded as a “strong” and “independent” woman ever since she was in grade school.
“I first read ‘Little Women’ when I was in the fifth grade and then in the sixth grade I read a children’s biography of her and then became very interested in her as a woman, as an author and as a role model.”
“The choices that she made are rather remarkable for her time period. She chose to be an independent woman. She chose not to get married and not have children and she worked as an independent and became a highly successful best selling author,” said Weich. “She was very strong, very independent – she did her own thing at a time when women really didn’t do that.”
Weich made her debut as Alcott for Pasadena Museum of History in April 2003, in an original, one-woman presentation, “The Late Louisa May.” She subsequently developed the performance into an educational outreach program and has since performed for over 8,000 students in the Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, Alhambra, and Los Angeles Unified School Districts.
She has also made numerous appearances in a variety of venues for audiences of all ages.
The upcoming Pasadena Museum of History event will be held in Shakespeare Club of Pasadena at 171 South Grand Avenue.
As per Bovard, aside from learning about the life and works of Alcott, the upcoming event is also an opportunity for the public to enjoy Shakespeare Club of Pasadena, which she said is a “lovely setting for gatherings and celebrations.”
Tickets for the “Tea with Louisa May Alcott,” must be purchased in advance. To get tickets visit: