VERMILLION, S.D. – The University of South Dakota Department of Theatre is pleased to offer a delightful and poignant musical to kick off the holiday season. “Little Women” is a 21st century adaptation of a classic American novel, a story that has entranced readers of all ages for nearly 150 years.
Follow the stories of the four March sisters Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy and the many colorful characters in their lives as they come of age in Civil War-era New England. With music by Jason Howland, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, and book by Allen Knee, this beloved musical captures the essence of Louisa May Alcott's classic 19th century American novel while making it accessible and relevant to 21st century audiences of all ages.
Associate Professor of Theatre Matt Nesmith stage and vocal directs the musical. Nesmith has double cast three of the leading roles, meaning audiences will have the opportunities to see two partially different casts. Lauren Stacks, from Winston Salem, North Carolina, and Alyssa Collett, Sioux City, Iowa, share the role of Jo March, the independent early feminist; Gloria Kelly of Brandon, Florida, and Rachel Smith of Rockford, Minnesota, alternate in the role of Marmee, the strong yet gentle matriarch. Whitney Wolf of Sioux City, Iowa, and Eleanor Carle of Omaha, Nebraska, share the role of Amy, the young romantic. This casting has given the actresses an opportunity to approach their roles both individually and collaboratively.
Following the performances on Nov. 19 and Dec. 1, there will be a post-show discussion with members of the cast and artistic team as well as some USD experts on Alcott and the historical background: Sara Lampert and Kurt Hackemer from History and Prentiss Clark from English.
“Little Women” performs Nov. 17, 18 and Nov. 29 – Dec. 2 at 7:30 pm with matinee performances on November 19 and December 3 at 2:00 pm in the Wayne S. Knutson Theatre on the USD campus. Tickets ($15 Adults, $12 Senior Citizen [62+], $10 K-12 & non-USD students with ID, and $5 USD students with ID) can be purchased in the afternoons (12 – 5 pm) starting November 10 at the USD Theatre Box Office or by calling (605)677-5400; tickets can also be purchased now online.