News & Notables from the Division of Performing Arts

VIDEO: Act 1 Rings in the Holiday Season with Little Women, the Musical

by Roseann Damico Schatkowski | Nov 13, 2014


This holiday season, Act 1 DeSales University Theatre will present the exhilarating musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved book, “Little Women.” This timeless tale filled with glorious song and dance will be presented December 3 to 14, 2014 on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts, Center Valley, PA.

With book by Allan Knee, music by Jason Howland and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein, “Little Women, the Musical” follows the adventures of Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy March as they grow up in Civil War America. An aspiring writer, Jo finds inspiration in the memories of the lives, loves, and tragedies that she and her sisters experience while their father is off at war.

The production ran on Broadway in 2005 starring Sutton Foster and Maureen McGovern. Foster garnered a Tony Award Nomination for her portrayal of Jo. “‘Little Women, the Musical' is a rare piece in that it is a contemporary musical about a family set in the middle of the 19th century at a precarious moment in the country’s history,” says John Bell, head of the division of performing arts. “The challenge to the writers who adapted Louisa May Alcott’s story was to use music of the time period in such a way as to anchor the musical historically while still providing contemporary allure.  Judging by the response to the original Broadway production and the cult following that the musical has attracted in the ensuing years, I think they succeeded.  I know our students are excited to perform it.”

“‘Little Women, the Musical’” is directed by theatre faculty member Anne Lewis, who directed last season’s “Lost in Yonkers.” Her previous directorial work includes “I Love a Piano” and “A View from the Bridge,” both of which were listed in The Morning Call’s top ten productions of the Lehigh Valley in 2012. The Civil War era comes to life with sets and costumes by Act 1’s resident creative faculty team: scenic designer Will Neuert and costume designer Amy Best. Guest artists Charles S. Reece and Matthew Given designed the lighting and sound, respectively. Senior theatre major Karyn Bohli serves as stage manager.

The production runs December 3 to 14, 2014 on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM, with an added performance on Saturday, December 6 at 2:00 PM. There is a morning matinee on Monday, December 9 at 9:45 AM, followed by a talk back with the director and cast. A talk back is also scheduled for Sunday, December 7 after the 2:00 PM performance.

On Sunday, December 7, enjoy a conversation with “Little Women, the Musical” Director Anne Lewis, Chair of Theatre Dennis Razze, and Director of Development Deb Walter during an 1860s feast with items likely to be found on the March’s dinner table at Christmas, as well as on the 250-foot buffet at Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural. The dinner will feature a cocktail hour with full bar and popular Civil War hard and soft drinks (juleps, ciders, iced tea, hot chocolate, ginger beer), and punch. The cost for the all-inclusive dinner is $32 per person. Reservations may be made online at through the box office at 610.282.3192.

In an effort to improve accessibility for all patrons, the Saturday, December 6, 2:00 PM performance will feature Open Captioning for patrons who are deaf or hearing impaired and Audio Descriptions for patrons who are blind or visually impaired. During Open Captioned performances, all dialogue and sound effects are presented in real-time on an LED screen that is adjacent to the stage. During Audio Described performances, all action and physical appearances are described live through a headset.

Ticket prices are $27 for adults and $25 for students and seniors on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and $29 for adults and $27 for students and seniors on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Group discounts are available for all performances. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Labuda Center box office at 610-282-3192 or by visiting the web site at

The Labuda Center is fully accessible and equipped with a listening enhancement system. Special seating is available for our patrons using wheelchairs or requiring other assistance. Please inform the box office of your needs when ordering tickets.

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