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Theatre and Dance and Music Present ‘Little Women: The Musical’ at Highlander Theatre April 6-9: ASL Interpreters Saturday Night

By Jeff Murphy, April 3, 2023


WARRENSBURG, MO – University of Central Missouri Theatre and Dance and UCM Music present “Little Women: The Musical” at the Highlander Theatre at 7:30 p.m. April 6, 7 and 8, and at 2 p.m. April 8 and 9.  The April 9 matinee is Pay-What-You-Can (minimum $1), and ASL interpreters have been added to the Saturday evening, April 8 performance. The show is family-friendly.

“Little Women: The Musical’s” book is written by Allan Knee, with lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland.  This story follows the adventures of sisters, Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March. Jo is trying to sell her stories for publication, but the publishers are not interested. Her friend, Professor Bhaer, tells her that she has to do better and write more from herself. Begrudgingly taking this advice, Jo weaves the story of herself and her sisters and their experience growing up in Civil War America.

The play is directed by Guest Director Kristen Henning. The guest director was generously funded by the Meridith Harmon Guest Artist Series.  When asked about the play, Henning stated, “People should come see ‘Little Women: The Musical’ because it is an inspiring story about persevering through adversity to follow your  dreams. More so, it celebrates embracing passion, family, friends, and forging your own path in pursuit of what success means to you.”  

Prior to the April 8 evening performance UCM Theatre and Dance will honor Meridith (Harmon) Sauer as the 2023 Ed See Distinguished Alumnus. Dr. Ed See, on his retirement from UCM, established the Ed See Outstanding Theatre Alumnus Award through the University Foundation.  The purpose of the endowment is to honor University of Central Missouri Theatre alumni who have in some way distinguished themselves in theatre education, community theatre, or in some area of professional theatre and have demonstrated commitment and love for the theatre arts.  The award recognizes those alumni who have honored their alma mater through their dedication and various theatrical achievements. 

Meridith (Harmon) Sauer proudly graduated from the University of Central Missouri in December 1996 with a degree in Theatre and Speech Education. For six years, she taught speech and theatre at Warrensburg High School.  For six years, Sauer also led the Warrensburg Schools Foundation, supporting teachers and students through fundraising and grants.  Later, she led the theatre department of Center Stage Academy of the Performing Arts, expanding theatre course offerings, creating an auditioned theatre troupe for middle and high schoolers, and directing the younger student summer productions. Beyond the workplace, Sauer supported the arts through various community groups, committees and as an original member of the Warrensburg Arts Commission.  

On Sunday, April 9 (Easter Sunday), UCM Theatre and Dance will present its Pay-What-You-Can performance. Audiences may choose to pay any amount, $1 or above, for a ticket. 

The cast includes: Alannah Trigg as Jo March, Miranda Muenz as Meg/Clarissa, McKenna Sanford as Amy/Troll, Rachel Curry as Beth/Rodrigo, Katie Kaminski as Marmee/Hag, Maleena Johnson as Aunt March/Mrs. Kirk, Thomas Clark as Professor Bhaer, Riley Given as Laurie/Braxton, Riley Wyatt as
Mr. Brooke/Rodrigo, and Joe Clark as Mr. Laurence/Knight. 

The Crew includes:  Director, Kristen Henning; Stage Manager, Alyna Mathews; Music Director, Daniel Doss; Choreographer, Jenise Cook; Technical Director/Scenic Design, Spencer Musser; Dramaturgy, Stephanie Heathcock; Lighting Design, Seth Sneary; Costume Design, Cassie Kay Hoppas; Sound Design, Jamie Gresens; Hair/Makeup Design, Hollie Neuman; Props Coordinator, Rosalyn Schuster; Assistant Musical Director, Jack Renfrow; Assistant Stage Manager, Matthew Kimbel, Jake Collins; Assistant Lighting Designer, Arianna Kendrick; Assistant Costume Designer, Maryn Edwards; Hair Stylists, Maleena Johnson, Mekdelawit Keller, Kennedy Jean-Reisdorph; Wardrobe Crew, Sadie Greene, Claire Groos; Hair/Makeup Crew, Owen Hopper, Madeline Otero; Running Crew, Ryan Verheek; Scene Shop Staff, Joe Clark, Mekdelawit Keller, Alyna Mathews, Rosalyn Schuster; Lighting Shop Hires, Seth Sneary, Gracie Heath; Sound Board Op, Stephanie Heathcock; Light Board Op/Spotlight Op, Matt Kimbel; Publicity/Marketing Director, Dr. Aaron Scully; Graduate Shop Assistant, Dalima Kapten; Office Professional, Lars Jepsen; Office Assistants, Mekdelawit Keller and Jennifer White. 

The James L. Highlander Theatre is located on the east side of the Elliot Student Union at UCM. Free parking is available in the adjacent parking lot at Clark and Holden streets. Anyone who has questions is asked to contact Dr. Aaron Scully at or call the Theatre and Dance main office at 660-543-4020.

Tickets are available at the UCM Theatre and Dance Office in Martin 113, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, by calling 660-543-8811 or online at  For any questions about tickets, please call 660-543-8811 or email


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