Cast selected for Southeastern Opera Workshop's ‘Little Women’


Friday, September 16, 2022 Little Women
by: Tonya Lowentritt 

     HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s Opera/Music Theatre Workshop will present the Broadway musical, “Little Women” on Thursday and Friday, October 6 and 7, at 7:30 p.m., at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts in downtown Hammond.
     Opera Workshop welcomes guest stage director Leslie Castay for this production. Castay has appeared in four Broadway shows and five national tours in addition to a long list of television and film appearances. Her latest television project is a series based on New Orleans novelist Ann Rice’s “Mayfair Witches,” which will be released in early 2023. This is the first time she has directed for Opera Workshop.
     Opera Theatre Music Director Charles Effler said “Little Women” is based on Louisa May Alcott’s semi-autobiographical two-volume novel.
     “It focuses on the four March sisters - wild, aspiring writer Jo, traditional Meg, timid Beth, romantic Amy, and their beloved Marmee, at home in Concord, Massachusetts, while their father is away serving as a Union Army chaplain during the Civil War,” Effler explained. “Intercut with the vignettes in which their lives unfold, are several recreations of the melodramatic short stories Jo writes in her attic studio.”
     “Little Women” opened on Broadway in January 2005 starring Sutton Foster and Maureen McGovern, with a script by Allan Knee, music by Jason Howland and lyrics by Mindi Dickstein.
     The cast of the four sisters includes Emily Songy (Lacombe) and Camille Talbot (Mandeville) as Jo, Elizabeth “Ellie” Hader (Baton Rouge) as Amy, Natalia Turchin (Edinet, Moldova) as Meg, LeeAnn Hovis (Destrehan) as Beth; the sisters’ beloved Marmee will be played by Adia Hunt (Arcola); the other main characters will be played by Rebecca Davis
(Hammond) as Aunt March, Jacob Chauvin (Gramercy) as Laurie Laurence, Austin Bonfanti (Hammond) and Trey Townsel (Zachary) as John Brooke, Andrew Butler (New Orleans) as Professor Bhaer, and Windsor Semexant (New Orleans) as Mr. Laurence. Stephanie Schiro (Baton Rouge) will play Troll, Townsel will play Rodrigo, Hovis will play Rodrigo II, Ilea Watson (Walker) will play Mrs. Kirk, Margaret Dorignac (Madisonville) will play Hag, Grace Savoy (Mandeville) will play Clarissa, Bonfanti will play Knight, and Semexant will play Mr. Braxton.
     Opera Workshop’s production of “Little Women” will not be live-streamed.
     Effler will serve as music director and conductor, Benjamin Norman of the Columbia Theatre will design the lighting and serve as the fight choreographer, Anna Pfeil will coordinate the costumes rentals, Adachi Pimentel will design the sets, which will be provided by the New Orleans Opera Association Scenic Shop.
     Advance tickets are available online at any time at, at the Columbia Theatre box office at 985-549-2787, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and one hour prior to each performance. Ticket prices are $21 for adults; $18 for seniors, Southeastern faculty/staff and non-Southeastern students; and $10 for children 12 and younger. Southeastern students are admitted free of charge with their ID.
     “Little Women” is presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International. All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 
     For more information contact Effler at

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