Posts Tagged ‘Little Women: The Musical’

Krystyn Wells debuts as new director at Wheaton Drama

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

5 Questions with Krystyn Wells

Krystyn Wells, Director, Little Women – the Broadway Musical at Wheaton Drama

Krystyn Wells has a growing resume with Wheaton Drama, with performances including Christmas Carol and Sweeney Todd, even assistant director credits in WDI’s 2018 production of Willy Wonka. Now, her directorial debut is taking place now through February 9th at Wheaton Drama, in a delightful, heartwarming production of Little Women – the Broadway Musical.

We sat down with the new director to see what she’s learned and what she’s excited to share with this production.

1) Little Women is 100+ year old, and yet there’s an Broadway musical, and just this year, an Oscar nominated film. What is it about this story that makes it so engaging 100 years later?
“The bond of sisterhood is relatable to so many. But what I love about this particular adaptation is that Jo’s journey as a writer and feminist is structured around her evolving ideas of what it means for her to have a family and a place that she calls home that feels right for her, despite society’s expectations. That resonates strongly for me personally, and is (sadly) still a struggle for women today.”

2) What drew you to want to direct Little Women?
“This musical production is such a joyful and fun adaptation of the book. And even when there’s sadness and heartache, the hope and excitement in the music is a reminder to keep going, keep pursuing the dream. That’s a real 2020 mood, I think. It’s got such a killer message to deliver. When audiences leave the theater I want them to take home a spirit of hope that despite some of your worst fears and hardest struggles, there is a place for you in this world. Sometimes your family shows up in the most unexpected places. Sometimes you have to leave home in order to find it. “

3) This is your first job direction a show at WDI, and to make it more complicated, it’s a musical. What have you learned about yourself, about the theater and about the craft along the way?
“That it takes a team. I have my strengths, but I also know that a show is only made stronger by having people with expertise on the team. Leadership happens when a director can delegate. This show would not be the beautiful, cozy musical it is without the folks who taught the music, choreographed the dances, and showed actors the safest way to wield a prop sword, for example. I could then focus my efforts not only on the tiny moments, but step back and see the whole picture. I learned a lot about WDI’s traditions and expectations, and where I, as a director, could use them and discard them in order to create a compelling piece of theatre. Also, as an introvert, I learned a lot about how to keep my focus while managing a cast of 17 actors!”

4) Why is this story important now?
“Social media, the current political landscape, climate change, income disparity, the threat of war – these are all things that clamor for our attention, and for many of us, it’s literally inescapable. It’s difficult not to feel hopeless or ground down by the constant barrage of news and disappointments. This musical is a sweet reminder to keep working and hoping.”

5) With so many different forms of entertainment available in the palm of your hand, on a huge screen in the comfort of your home, or a state-of-the-art movie theater, why is live theater important? Why is Wheaton Drama important?
“A hug emoji in a text message can never quite compare to a real hug, you know? I mean, if you’re not a huggy type person, then my analogy sucks, but: live theater is where we can share, in real-time, an experience that is crafted especially for us in that moment. No two performances of a show are the same, and the audience can have so much to do with that. As humans, we seek connection – we not only crave art that reflects our hopes and dreams, but we are better people when we share experiences. You know how sometimes when we yearn for someone far away we look up at the moon and stars and take comfort that they can see (nearly) the same sky? In the theatre we’re all storytellers, sharing the moon.
At Wheaton Drama, we have the opportunity to put on quality theatre in a community structure. Wisdom is passed down, new folks are welcomed, and audiences know they’ll see something good when they come through our doors. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of that in a directorial role. It’s been fun and inspiring.”

Little Women – the Broadway Musical performs Thursdays – Sundays, now through February 9th, at Wheaton Drama’s Playhouse 111. More information and online ticketing can be found at www.wheatondrama.org.

“Little Women – The Broadway Musical” Cast Announced

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

The production team of Little Women – The Broadway Musical is proud to announce the cast and crew of this heartwarming musical coming Wheaton Drama January 17 – February 9, 2020. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s classic 1869 novel, Little Women is a musical storytelling of the adventures the four March sisters and their beloved Marmee while their father is away serving in the Civil War. Beautiful music and the well-loved story of traditional Meg, wild, aspiring writer Jo, timid Beth, and romantic Amy, will bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart this winter.

 The roles will be portrayed by:

Jo: Carolyn Waldee

Professor Bhaer: Kevin Loeper

Marmee/Hag: Meg McGarry

Meg/Clarissa: Morgan Dietkus

Beth/Rodrigo 2: Elisabeth Reuter

Amy/Troll: Mackenzie Grattan

Laurie/Rodrigo: Zack Eckhardt

Mr. Lawrence: Stan Austin

Aunt March: Amy Brockman

Mr. John Brooke/Braxton: Mark Hutchison

Mrs. Kirk: Charmaine Jones

Knight: Michael Albrow

Ensemble/Laurie Understudy: Erol Ibrahimović

Ensemble/Amy Understudy: Abigail Hamilton 

Ensemble/Meg Understudy: Kayla Lollar

Ensemble/Beth Understudy: Allie Plansky


Production staff includes:

Production Manager: Elyse Willis

Director: Krystyn Wells

Assistant Director: Leah Rae Witt

Music Director: Joni Kotche

Choreographer: Katy Smith 

Stage Manger, Set Designer: Bruce Ebner

Assistant Stage Manager: Melanie Johnson

Set Dec, Hair, Make Up, and Scenic Artist: Jim Martin

Light Designer: Jim Van De Velde

Sound Designer: Tom French

Props Designer: Jody Gosain

Costume Designer: Cindy Lonhart

Little Women – The Broadway Musical runs January 17 through February 9, 2020 at Wheaton Drama’s Playhouse 111, 111 N. Hale Street in Wheaton, IL. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30p, and Sunday at 3:00p. Two performances of the show will be performed with American Sign Language interpreters, dates TDB. Tickets can be order online, or by leaving a message with the Wheaton Drama volunteer box office at 630-260-1820.

Presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI)

Auditions for “Little Women, The Broadway Musical”

Sunday, October 6th, 2019

Wheaton Drama, Inc. will hold auditions for Little Women, The Broadway Musical on Sunday, November 3rd and Monday, November 4th at 7pm. Callbacks (if needed): Tuesday, November 5th, 7pm. All auditions will be held at 112 N Wolf Road Northlake, IL 60164. NOTE – This is NOT Wheaton Drama. Auditions are being held off site for this production. The show runs January 17th – February 9th, 2020.

Little Women, The Broadway Musical is a heartwarming look at the lives of the four March sisters as they grow up and find their own voices against the backdrop of the Civil War. Full of hope and adventure, memorable songs, humor and heartbreak, the show (and beloved book) is based loosely on Louisa May Alcott’s life.

Audition slots are available by appointment only. Director Krystyn Wells would like to see a 30 second – 1 minute story or “elevator” pitch about a favorite thing (book, play, TV show, recipe, vacation). Please also prepare 16-32 measures of musical theatre style in appropriate key; please provide copy as an accompanist will be provided.  Please no a cappella or recordings. You may be asked for additional singing for range placement.

To request an audition time or to ask questions: please write to the show’s email: LittleWomenMusicalWDI2020@gmail.com and indicate preference for Sunday or Monday, as well as preference for earlier or later in the evening. We will do our best to accommodate your requests. Audition forms can be downloaded by clicking the link below:

Download audition forms here. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1W5Y5oSB7_FrSMb-is8jqxT9lsYThOigwNGg2UFX7yAg/edit?usp=sharing

Available roles:
Jo March – Our protagonist who stands up for everything she believes in. Passionate, adventurous and brave. (Vocal Range E3-A5 (Belt/Mix), Age Range 18-23)

Professor Bhaer – A German Professor who exemplifies proper manners. He is a boarder in Mrs. Kirk’s boarding house. (Vocal Range G2-F#4 (Baritone), Age Range 25-45)

Amy March – The youngest March sister, impulsive, energetic, and striving for a more sophisticated life. (Vocal Range Cb4-Gb5 (Soprano/Mix), Age Range 14-18)

Meg March – The world-weary, yet hopeful, oldest sister who yearns for a great life. (Vocal Range A#3-Gb5 (Soprano), Age Range 20-25)

Beth March – The second youngest sister who tragically dies of Scarlet Fever. Peace-maker, giving and optimistic. (Vocal Range A3-G5 (Soprano), Age Range 16-21) 

Marmee March – The girls’ mother. She is the strong backbone of the family, courageous in spite of difficulties. (Vocal Range Eb3-Eb5 (Mezzo Soprano), Age Range 45-55) 

Mr. Laurence – Laurie’s grandfather who lives next door. Slightly crotchety. (Vocal Range D3-E4 (Baritone), Age Range 55-70) 

Laurie Laurence – The bright-eyed-boy-next-door with considerable charm. (Vocal Range Bb2-Bb4 (Tenor), Age Range 18-23) 

Aunt March – A formidable, over-bearing matron and great-aunt to the March sisters. (Vocal Range E3-F5 (Soprano), Age Range 35-60) 

Mr. John Brooke – Laurie’s tutor and a rather stiff man; shows very little emotion until he falls in love with Meg. (Vocal Range C#3 – F#4 (Bari-Tenor), Age Range 25-35) 

Mrs. Kirk – The woman who runs the New York boarding house where Jo lives. Slight Irish accent. (Vocal Range D4-G4 (Soprano), Age Range 45-60) 

Weekly Volcano Press Characters –  (Troll, Clarissa, Rodrigo II, Knight, Rodrigo, Hag, Braxton) – May be cast as separate roles within the ensemble or double cast with Amy, Meg, Beth, Mr. Laurence, Laurie, Aunt March and John Brooke (Various Vocal Ranges, Age Range 14+) 

Ensemble – Dancers at the ball, ice skaters, beachcombers, hags, trolls and monks. (Various vocal ranges, Age Range 14+) 

2019/2020 Audition Schedule

Sunday, June 23rd, 2019

Wheaton Drama is proud to announce its audition schedule for the 2019/2020 Season. Save the date information is listed below for each of the shows, and more information about time, place and requirements for each show are forthcoming on our website and social media. Mark your calendars now – and join us in making the 2019/2020 Season at Wheaton Drama remarkable!

  • The Addams Family Auditions – July 21, July 22; Callbacks – July 23; Optional Dance Workshop –  Sunday July 14. Auditions will be scheduled in group rotations.
  • Moonlight and Magnolias Auditions – Sep 15, Sep 16; Callbacks – Sep 17. Auditions will be in scheduled time slots.
  • Merry Mad Mid-Mod Auditions – Aug 4. Auditions will be in scheduled time slots.
  • Little Women The Broadway Musical Auditions –  Nov 3, Nov 4; Callbacks – Nov 5.
  • Hauptmann Auditions – Jan 19, Jan 20; Callbacks – Jan 22. Auditions will be in scheduled time slots.
  • Peter and the Starcatcher Auditions – March 29, March 30; Callbacks March 31. Auditions will be in scheduled time slots.

Director Application: 2019-2020 Season

Monday, January 21st, 2019

Wheaton Drama is now accepting applications from members who are interested in directing for the 2019-2020 Season.

If you are interested in directing one of these shows, please submit an application to Artistic Committee Chair Christine Pfenninger at: christine.pfenninger@icloud.com by FEBRUARY 15, 2019. A separate application must be filed for each show you are submitting to direct.

The Artistic Committee will interview all prospective Directors on Tuesday Feb. 26 or Wednesday Feb. 27 from 7-10pm in WDI’s Green Room (basement). If necessary, additional interviews may be held on Thursday, Feb. 28 from 7-10pm. The Artistic Committee Chair will contact prospective directors to schedule an appointment.

If selected to direct, part of your commitment to Wheaton Drama will be participation in a post-show survey/interview  with a Board liaison. Additional information and job descriptions will be forwarded once your appointment is set.

Announcement of the season’s shows and directors will be published in the April 2019 TYRO.


2019-2020 Season Shows

  • The Addams Family (Sept 13-Oct 5, 2019 – 15 shows) (musical)
  • Moonlight & Magnolias (Nov 15-Dec 8, 2019 – 14 shows) (comedic play)
  • Little Women: The Musical (Jan 17-Feb 9, 2020 – 15 shows) (musical)
  • Hauptmann (Mar 20- Apr 5, 2020 – 11 shows) (dramatic play)
  • Peter & The Starcatcher (May 22-Jun 14, 2020 – 15 performances) (play with music)

Please note there is no pay or stipend for this position.

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