This production of Little Women is sponsored by
Show run time 1:45 with a 15-minute intermission
Little Women Cast
- Mackenzie Elsbecker – Jo March
- Noel VanDenBosch – Beth March/Laurie
- Erin Grams – Meg March/Baehr
- Lily Gast – Amy March/Brooke
- Saffron Henke – Director
- S. Benjamin Farrar – Scenic, Projection & Lighting Design
- Joni Dee Sackett – Costume Designer
- Megan Robinson – Assistant Director/Movement Coach/Sound Design
- Lisa Kelly – Stage Manager
- Tanja Struve – Assistant Costumer/Propsmaster
- Kelly Shriver – Assistant Stage Manager
Technical Staff and Crew
- Ben Lauer -Technical Director
- Ray Vanek – Sound Board Operator
- Chris Rich – Carpenter
- Pat Reading – Electrician/Carpenter
- Leslie Delavan – Master Painter
- Emily Haywood – Electrician
- Darin Ulmer – Sound Engineer
- Bob Huffman – Backstage Crew/Load-in Crew
- Chelsea Prior – Backstage Crew
- Jean Grewe – Backstage Crew
- Aaron Pozdol – Load-in Crew
- Lisa Kelly– Load-in Crew
- Jenny Titus – Sound Operator Sub
- Jody Lippmann – House Manager
- Jenna Woodwick – Front of House Support
- Costume Construction – Mary Kay Brandt, Michele Francis, Maria Camarotti, Diane Mulbrook, Marnie Schultz, Jane Sloan, Melody Wiebold, Deb Winter
- Costume Crew – Deb Winter
To the Brucemore Staff and Board, Theatre Cedar Rapids Board, and Heather Chrisler.
- Katie Hallman – Executive Director
- Angie Toomsen – Artistic Director
- Hannah Brewer – Development Director
- Christina Kroemer – Marketing Director
- Olivia Lestrud – Patron Services Manager
- Ben Lauer – Technical Director
- Joni Dee Sackett – Costume Director
- Lisa Kelly – Associate Artistic Director
- Tanja Struve – Costume and Production Assistant
- Stacie Harwood – Concessions Manager
*affiliated with this production
A Note From the Director
HOME. This is at the center of Heather Chrisler’s sweet adaptation of Little Women and resonates with me more than ever. I’m from Iowa but live in Colorado now. Like you, this last year has been, to say the least, tough. The last year has taken its toll, and perhaps a few places more than Cedar Rapids. It struck me, as the cast and I were taken on a wonderful tour of Brucemore last week, just how many generations of resilience built the foundations on which we stand, here, tonight. How people have persevered through great tragedy, just the like the March sisters did, and do again tonight. Now, we know things we didn’t know before about tragedy and resilience and how truly vulnerable we really are.
The resilience of theatre artists, who have seen their industry shut down for a year, and kept making. The resilience inside of the massive social, political and environmental shifts we’ve experienced in the last eighteen months. The resilience of this community, to rebuild again. All of us, beginning again. Always beginning again.
It is the spirit of that resilience that we offer this play tonight. May it welcome you home, and soothe whatever in you feels weary. Welcome back to Theatre Cedar Rapids and Brucemore, and the night sounds here that could literally be the soundtrack to “idyllic”. I want to thank Angie Toomsen for inviting me home, both to the physical place of Iowa and to my home in live theatre. Many thanks to this cast and crew for making me and my young, rollerskating daughter feel so welcomed and appreciated. A side note: Joanna is played by Rosa, my childhood doll. My mother made her for me when I was about my daughter’s age. She’s here to represent my mother’s resilience and my connection to my home.
Welcome back to the world. As Meg says in the play, “We’re all we have.”
~ Saffron Henke
Scenic rendering by S. Benjamin Farrar, with fabric swatches from Joni Dee Sackett.
ABOUT SAFFRON HENKE (director)
Saffron Henke has more than twenty years’ experience as a professional actor, director, and educator, coming to Colorado State University from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she established The Brink Theatre Company. She received her M.F.A. from the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Washington, during which she also performed with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Idaho Rep, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and the Recklinghausen Ruhrfestspiele in Germany. She then joined the acting company at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (two seasons) where she also devised and directed The Pale Fire Project.
From there she became an associate artist and resident acting company member for four seasons at the Sacramento Theatre Company, where she was also the director of STC-2, a ten-month, young professionals training conservatory. With STC-2, she developed and directed The Tale, a rock musical about Greek mythology that toured Greece and headlined the Mioulia Festival. Her last West Coast stop was in Los Angeles, where she taught at the University of Southern California, Center Theatre Group, and A Noise Within Theatre; assistant directed The Heretic Mysteries with David Bridel; expanded her on-camera resume, including a web series for HBO’s “True Blood;” and played Fiona in the online series for “Web Therapy.”
A Midwest native, she has worked with Working Group Theatre and Riverside Theatre as an actor and voice/text coach. She has directed at Coe and Augustana Colleges (Women in the Shadow, Metamorphoses, The Bock-Eye), and taught and directed at St. Ambrose University (Les Liaisons Dangereuses), Cornell College (In the Next Room/Vibrator Play), ChiARTS, and the Englert School of Performing Arts (Bugsy Malone). Most recently, she assisted George De La Pena in Music IC’s production of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat and she has performed with the Richmond Shakespeare Festival, directing A Winter’s Tale in 2018.
A longtime member of the Actor’s Equity Association, Saffron is also the recipient of the 2005 Princess Grace Foundation Honorarium for Emerging Artists, an SAFD certified actor/combatant and yoga teacher (200hr RYT).
ABOUT HEATHER CHRISLER (playwright)
Heather Chrisler is a Chicago-based actor and playwright who has recently been seen in Chicago in Howards End (Remy Bumppo), Twilight Bowl (Goodman Theatre; Jeff Nomination, Best Ensemble; Chris Jones Top Ten Performances of 2019 Honorable Mention), Mies Julie (Victory Gardens; Chris Jones Top Ten Performances of 2018), Small Mouth Sounds (A Red Orchid; Jeff Nomination, Best Ensemble), Machinal (Greenhouse; Jeff Nomination, Best Performer; Chris Jones Top Ten Performances of 2017) and good friday (Oracle Productions, Jeff Nomination Ensemble).
Chrisler is an Artistic Associate at First Folio Theatre where she has been seen in Mary’s Wedding, Captain Blood, The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe and is slated to be in the upcoming world premiere of Jigsaw Bride. Regionally she has been seen at The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Door Shakespeare, Riverside Theatre and Portland Center Stage.
Chrisler’s adaptation of Little Women was featured on the 2020 Kilroys List, it was produced digitally by Sarah Elizabeth Yorke with students mainly out of Ohio University, and has upcoming productions scheduled at Theatre of Cedar Rapids and First Folio Theatre. She is also the writer, creator and narrator of “Don’t Stop for Monkeys,” an Audio Adventure and Podcast for Young Audiences dropping in March 2021. Television credits include “Chicago PD (NBC).” Chrisler recently received Best Actress from the MLC Awards and Best Performance from the Chicago Feedback Film Festival for the independent film Collide. Chrisler holds an MFA from Ohio University, and she is represented by DDO Chicago.