Little Women The Broadway Musical Cast
Jo March (Esther Shull)
Esther is delighted to be performing with JOT again. Her debut role was Lucy in “The Telephone” and since then has played Despina in “Così Fan Tutte” along with Gianetta in “ The Gondoliers.” She is a film major here at JSU. Starring in her first short film as Rachel in “ Tipping Point ” produced by JSU Film Department. She is a coloratura soprano and is studying voice with Dr. Shellie Beeman. Esther is broadening her horizons by auditioning for musical theatre, this will be her debut role in the genre
Professor Bhaer (Josh Guzman)
Josh Guzman is originally from Elizabeth, New Jersey. He graduated from Alexander High School in Douglasville, GA, where his love for choir and musical theatre started. He is currently third year Music Education - Vocal major at Jacksonville State University. He is a performer with the JSU Chamber Singers and Acappella Singers. He has performed the role of Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Cosí Fan Tutte and Dave in Samuel Barber’s A Hand of Bridge. Josh is a voice student of Dr. Nathan Wight.
Young Amy March, Hag (Grace Anne Page)
Grace Anne is very excited to be making her Jacksonville Opera Theatre debut. Grace Anne is a 13 year old student at Rainbow Middle school. Her favorite roles include Scout Finch in Theatre of Gadsden‘s To Kill a Mockingbird, Spookley in Foothill’s Spookley the Square Pumpkin, and Baby June in Gypsy at Theatre of Gadsden. Grace Anne is also an award winning competitive dancer with Crazy About Dance and has been awarded the title of America’s Petite Miss Dance. She is a member of Magic City Performing Arts Ensemble and the Company at Ballet Squared. She is eager to bring Young Amy to life!
Amy March (Mary Grace Hendley)
Mary Grace is a Huntsville native and JSU Junior majoring in Music Education and studying voice with Dr. Shellie Beeman. She is VP of Finance for Delta Zeta Sorority, 2022 President of the JSU ACDA, and maintains a GPA above 3.91 with plans to graduate in May 2023. She sings soprano with JSU A Capella Choir, Chamber Singers, and Encore Show Choir where she is Vocal Coach and previous Dance Captain. JSU Opera Theatre credits include Vittoria and Giulia in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers, as well as Ameliora in Daniel and the Dreamcatcher.
Meg March (Allison Carroll)
Allison is a Vocal Music Education major here at Jacksonville State University and will be making her musical theatre debut with the Jacksonville State Opera Theatre in Little Women! She is a student of Dr. Shellie A. Beeman and is involved with the Jacksonville State University A Cappella Choir, Chamber Singers, Jazz Ensemble lll, and Marching Southerners. Outside of school, one passion of hers includes singing at her home church Albertville First Baptist Church in Albertville, AL.
Beth March (Trinity Lane)
Trinity attends Jacksonville State University and is studying Vocal Music Education. This is her debut with Jacksonville Opera Theatre with her performance as Beth in Little Women. Trinity is studying with Dr. Shellie Beeman and being trained as a coloratura lyric soprano.
Marmee March (Judy Shealy)
Judy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Voice and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Jacksonville State University. She has acted professionally with Storybook Children’s Theatre and Texas Legacies and is currently a private vocal instructor and music director for the CASTkidz theatre program. Judy has acted, directed and music directed with multiple theatre companies in our community including CAST, Theatre of Gadsden, CharACTers, Jacksonville Opera Theatre and JSU Drama Department. Judy lives in Jacksonville with her husband Blake and their 4 children and is on the worship team at Covenant Life Ministries.
Mr. Laurence (Silas Tankersley)
Silas is a Junior at Jacksonville State University majoring in vocal music education. His previous roles include Jehan in The Hunchback of Notre Dame with Characters Theatrics and The Duke of Plaza Toro in The Gondoliers with JSU Opera Theatre. He serves as bass section leader for the JSU A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers and holds the position of treasurer for the American Choral Director Association’s JSU chapter. In his free time, Silas enjoys composing for piano and spending quality time with friends.
Laurie Laurence (Jared Stephens)
Jared Stephens is a vocal education major from Marietta Georgia. He graduated from Kell High School in 2017 and will be graduating from JSU in December. After graduation Jared plans on attending graduate school for conducting.
Aunt March (Megan Brightwell)
Megan Brightwell last appeared on a JSU stage, Once Upon a Mattress as Queen Aggravain. Her JSU story began in Neverland as Tic Toc Croc’s designer and puppeteer in JSU Opera Theater’s Peter Pan and includes art direction and a supporting role in JSU’s first department film, soon to be released, Tipping Point. As a graduate student in JSU’s Integrated Studies MA program, she is extending her skills in performance, costuming and technical theater and film with the help of extraordinary professors like Dr. Shellie Beeman and homeschooling three creative kids with her husband Scott Brightwell.
Mr. John Brooke (Dylan Keasler)
Dylan Keasler (Mr. John Brooke/ Braxton) is a 19 year old freshman in the music department at Jacksonville State University. He is studying vocal music as a tenor. He is from Centre, Alabama and attended Cherokee County High School. A couple of his previous roles include Troy Bolton in the musical ‘High School Musical: On Stage’ and Schroeder in ‘You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.’ He enjoys participating in vocal ensembles, writing music, and spending time with the people in his life.
Hannah, Mrs. Kirk (Lauren Haygood)
Lauren is a junior vocal education major at Jacksonville State and is delighted to be making her Little Women debut. This will be Lauren’s third production with the Jacksonville Opera Theatre. Her previous roles were The Duchess of Plaza Toro from Gondoliers and Sally from Hand of Bridge.Previously, Lauren performed in several productions of Peter Pan, Shrek, and Beauty and the Beast with the Oneonta High School Drama Department.
Rodrigo (Dave Ritschard)
Dave Leonidas Ritschard grew up in Papua New Guinea where he had his debut as Frederic in Pirates of Penzance. Dave studied as a baritone at Bob Jones University for three years majoring in music education. While there he played the role Guglielmo in Mozart’s Così fan Tutte and performed with many of the university's choirs. After moving to Alabama, he reprised his role of Guglielmo with Jacksonville Opera Theater. Dave is now a junior voice performance major at Jacksonville State University. He has private lessons with Dr. Shellie Beeman, and is happily singing as a tenor now.
Knight (Jamey Smith)
This is Jamey's first musical. He is a senior majoring in Vocal Performance. He is currently studying voice under Dr. Shellie Beeman and previously studied voice under Dr. Rosephanye Powell at Auburn University. Jamey also takes part in A Cappella Choir and Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Eliezer Yanson Jr. He plans to go to graduate school and wants to teach music at either the university or high school level.
Troll (Erin Rose Pempel)
Erin Rose is so excited to be performing in her first role here for Jacksonville Opera! She is from Spanish Fort, AL and is a first year Theatre Major with a focus on production here at JSU. She has been performing for 11 years. In the past some of her favorite roles have been Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast, Nurse in Romeo and Juliet, and Annelle in Steel Magnolias.
Clarissa (Megan Day)
Megan Day is excited to be back on the stage as Clarissa with JOT after a long hiatus! Megan has been in many shows with JOT and other surrounding theatre companies like Theatre of Gadsden and CAST. Some of her favorite shows have been Carousel with JOT (Ensemble), Pirates of Penzance with JOT (Kate), Phantom of the Opera with JOT (Ensemble), Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with TOG (Cowboy Angel and Ensemble), Hello Dolly with CAST (Ensemble), Die Fledermaus with JOT (Ensemble) and Company with JSU Drama (Susan). She is also a member of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra Chorus.
Rodrigo 2 (Samantha Drake)
Samantha is a Senior Drama performance major and Music minor at JSU. She is 23, from Hartselle, AL, and a transfer student from Wallace State Community College. She was most recently seen as Lady Bracknell in JSU’s productions of The Importance of Being Earnest and Bronnie Brontosaurus in The Big Bad Bullysaurus. She is a current member of JSU A Capella Choir and Chamber Singers. She is very excited for her first show with Jacksonville Opera Theatre!