AU Theatre Opens Season with Little Women, the Musical

AU Theatre Opens Season with Little Women, the Musical

10/18/18 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University Department of Theatre opens the 2018-2019 season of “Treasured Classics Renewed” with Louisa May Alcott’s American classic Little Women, which has been transformed into a musical through the creative team of Jason Howland, Mindi Dickstein and Allan Knee.

Six generations have read the adventures of the March sisters (Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy) growing up during the Civil War. This generation will sing it as the musical’s powerful score soars with the sounds of a young America finding its voice. The musical version of Alcott’s timeless, captivating story of personal discovery, heartache, hope and everlasting love won a Richard Rodgers Musical Theatre Award. Directed by Robert Sean Parker, assistant professor of Theatre, with music direction by Deborah Logan, the Ashland show is scheduled for Nov. 2, 3, 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m.; and on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. in Hugo Young Theatre, with a special school matinee performance on Friday, Nov. 9, at 9 a.m. 

With the theatre season’s theme of revisiting the classics through the eyes of today’s ground-breaking playwrights and composers, professor Parker explains the importance of this show and its lasting impact. “Little Women is now celebrating its 150 year anniversary. It has been translated into more than 50 languages, made into films (a modern version out now and a new one coming out next year starring Saorise Ronan, Emma Watson and Meryl Streep) and television series, and it was adapted for a Broadway musical in 2005. The novel is constantly finding new audiences during a time when women are fighting sexual misconduct, misogyny and pay inequity,” he said.

The cast is comprised of seven women and four men with the four March sisters played by senior Maya Rickard (Wooster) as Meg, sophomores Gabriella Carr (Pickerington) and Macy Campbell (Genoa) as Jo and Amy, respectively, and freshman Syd Genter (Mansfield) as Beth. Senior Kathleen Parker Thompson (Ashland) will portray Marmee, sophomore Mia Kardotzke (Clyde) is Aunt March, and Holly Fongheiser (Rittman) is Mrs. Kirk. The male roles are portrayed by freshman Logan Hurst as Professor Bhaer (Norwalk), sophomore Ethan Tingler as Mr. Laurence (Roseville), senior Waylon O’Donnell as Mr. John Brooke (West Sunbury, Pa.) and alumnus Matthew Mayer as Laurie Laurence (Mansfield).

With theatre credits strewn from New York City to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Cleveland's Playhouse Square, Ohio Light Opera and beyond, the show’s designers and choreographers include guest artists Mark Kobak, scenic designer; alumnus D. Justin Bilewicz III, costume designer; Daniel Huston, lighting designer; Richard Ingraham, sound designer; Katie Zarecki and Dusten Welch as choreographer and fight choreographer, respectively. Production staff members are comprised of Carl Skorepa, technical director; Nik Demers (Shelby), assistant costume designer; Bilewicz, costume studio manager; Alejandro Ridolfi (Middleburg Heights), master electrician and stage manager; Ivey Buffenmyer (Ashland), dramaturg; and Eric Breeden (Medina), assistant stage manager.

Patrons attending the opening night performance are reminded that they are invited to the opening night reception with the cast and crew immediately following the Nov. 2 performance. 

Season tickets for the three theatre productions are still available and include admission to the three main stage productions at a reduced price compared to single tickets. Season tickets are: $28 for adults; $24 for senior citizens, Ashland University faculty, staff and alumni; and $12 for non-AU students. Single tickets are: $12 for adult; $10 for senior citizens, AU faculty, staff and alumni; $8 for groups of 10 or more, $5 for non-AU students, and $2 for Ashland University students with ID.  

To purchase tickets, call the Ashland University Box Office at 419-289-5125, Monday through Friday, 12 to 6 p.m.; or purchase online 24/7 at For school matinee reservations, contact Tricia Applegate, coordinator of College of Arts & Sciences Communications and Performing Arts Publicity and Events, at 419.289.5950 or For more information about the department of theatre, visit, find us on Facebook at

Ashland University, ranked in the top tier of colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2018, is a mid-sized, comprehensive private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Religiously affiliated with the Brethren Church, Ashland University ( deeply values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###