URI Theatre to present Little Women

KINGSTON, R.I.- November 15, 2007—The University of Rhode Island’s prize-winning Theatre Department announces the Rhode Island premiere of Little Women (the musical) written by Allan Knee, music by Jason Howland and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein.

The play, to be performed in the Robert E. Will Theatre, Fine Arts Center, Kingston Campus, will run Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 and Dec. 6 through 8 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 2 and 9 at 3 p.m. Admission is $18 for the general public, $14 for senior citizens and URI faculty/staff, and $12 for students. For reservations, call the box office at 401-874-5843. For more information, call 401-874-5921.

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott’s novel based on her own family experiences follows the adventures of Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March as they grow up in Civil War America. Coincidentally, URI’s play opens on Alcott’s birthday, November 29. She was born November 29, 1832.

The novel, a favorite of many generations, has been in print for nearly 140 years. “I read the novel many years ago and it was my delight to read it again in preparation for our upcoming production,” said Paula McGlasson, chair of the Theatre Department, who will direct the play.

McGlasson agrees with many critics who cite Louisa May Alcott as “an amazing 19th century New England woman who courageously pursued a writing career in a male-oriented profession.”

Musical director Lila Kane brought the play to the attention of the Theatre Department. The play was also a first choice for students. “Little Women is sure to have passion and heart behind it,” comments McGlasson.

The novel’s wonderful narrative has been brought to life as an exhilarating new musical filled with glorious music, dancing, and heart.

Both emotional and inspirational, the powerful score soars with sounds of personal discovery, heartache and hope- the sounds of a young America finding its voice. Six generations have read this story. This one will sing it.

Costume design by David T. Howard; choreography by Angelica Vessella; scenic design by URI Theatre alumna Cheryl deWardener; lighting design by Christian Wittwer; and sound design by Michael Martineau.

You are cordially invited to a MatChat, short for matinee chat, Sunday, Dec. 2 immediately following the performance. Audience members will get the opportunity to interact with the director, cast, musical director, designers, musicians and crew.

Members of the cast, their characters, and hometowns follow:

Cast, Character, Hometown

Maria Day, Marmee, North Kingstown

David DeAlmo, John Brooke, Hope Valley

Autumn Gillette, Ensemble, U.S Beth March, Manchester, Mass.

Nile Hawver, Laurie Laurence, Coventry

Joe Kidawski, Professor Bhaer, Framingham, Mass.

Jessica Kody, Mrs. Kirk, Ensemble, U.S. Marmee/March, Dublin, Ohio

Lara Maynard, Meg March, West Warwick

Jennifer Michaels, Ensemble, U.S. Meg March, Stonington, Conn.

Stephanie Morgan, Ensemble, U.S. Jo March , Westfield, Mass.

JonPaul Rainville, Ensemble, U.S. Laurie Laurence, Richmond

Betsy Rinaldi, Ensemble, U.S. Amy March, Coventry

Benjamin Rose, Ensemble, U.S. Brooke/Bhaer, Charlestown

Amanda Ruggerio, Jo March, Smithfield

Steph Sherman, Beth March, Marlboro, N.J.

Josh Short, Mr. Laurence, South Kingstown

Micah Tougas, Amy March, West Kingston

Katie Travers, Aunt March, Franklin, Mass.

Pictured above

URI students (from lower left) Stephanie Sherman of Marlboro, N.J., Lara Maynard of West Warwick, Nile Hawver of Coventry, Amanda Ruggiero of Smithfield, and Micah Tougas of West Kingston will appear in the University of Rhode Island’s production of Little Women (the musical). URI photo by Randy Osga.