Quintessence Theatre Group Reopens with Musical Adaptation of Little Women

-Courtesy of Perpetual Motion PR
Left to right: Caitlin Ort (as Meg), Marielle Issa (as Jo), Paola Morales (asBeth), Cara DiPietro (as Amy). Photo by Linda Johnson

Quintessence Theatre Group, Philadelphia’s professional classic repertory theatre, celebrates its return to in-person theatre by continuing its eight-year tradition of presenting classics for the whole family during the holiday season. With book by Allan Knee, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and music by Jason Howland, Little Women: The Broadway Musical starts December 1. The show closes on January 2nd.

The show stars Marielle Issa as Jo, Caitlin Ort as Meg, Cara DiPietro as Amy and Paola Morales as Beth. South Philly based actor Will Stephan Connell plays Laurie. Donnie Hammond (King Lear) returns to Quintessence to play Marmee, with Eleni Delopoulos (Oliver!) as Aunt March and Wilma HotHouse ensemble member Jered McLenigan (The Wizard of Oz, One Man Two Guvnors) as Professor Bhaer. The cast rounds out with Philadelphia legend Frank X (Waiting for GodotThe Seven Deadly Sins) as Mr. Laurence, and Quintessence favorite Lee Cortopassi (The Skin of Our TeethKing LearAwake and Sing!, FrankensteinMy Fair LadyLove’s Labor’s Love) as Mr. Brooke.

The musical is directed by Hassan Al Rawas, with musical direction by Chris Ertelt. It features choreography by Adrienne Maitland and Devon Sinclair, scenic design by Myra G. Reavis,  costumes by Lisa Jane Casanave, lighting design by Anthony Forchielli and music direction by Christopher Ertelt.

“I cannot think of a better story than Little Women to welcome back audiences to the theatre,” says Al Rawas. “As we slowly emerge from a global pandemic that has stirred fear and uncertainty in our hearts, Jo March’s quest to find her place in the world reminds us of the current moment we are in right now. How do we want to move forward with our lives after such adversity, and more importantly, with whom?”

Based on the beloved novel, this musical accompanies sisters Jo, Meg, Beth, and Amy on their journey of self-discovery. Jo, nineteen and attempting to launch a writing career, weaves magical scenes with her stories, full of twists and turns, heroes and villains. After being rejected by yet another publisher, she is challenged to write about her own life experiences, and memories of playing pretend with her sisters at Christmas come alive. We follow the March sisters as they grow from girls into young women, each determined to live life on her own terms but always bonded by family. In revisiting their moments of love, loss, and strength in the face of want, Jo discovers what her story was all along. Inspired by the real-life escapades of author Louisa May Alcott, the timeless coming-of-age story is invigorated with song and movement to inspire the imaginations of audience members of all ages. Little Women is a favorite of generations, perfect for this holiday season.

Visit www.QTGrep.org or call 215.987.4450 to purchase tickets to Little Women. .

Quintessence Theatre joins theatres across the region in signing the “Audience COVID-19 Policy from Philadelphia Regional Theatres” published by Theatre Philadelphia. Visitors to the Sedgwick Theater will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to attend indoor performances. Acceptable proof of vaccination includes paper copy of vaccination card, photocopy, electronic copy, photograph, or through the Bindle app. Following the current policy of the city of Philadelphia, patrons are also required to wear masks at all times when inside the theatre.

“We are excited to welcome our community back to live theatre, just in time for the holidays,” says Artistic Director Alex Burns. “The absence of live theatre, its energy, its joy and its transcendence has been felt by all of us. We look forward to gathering together and sharing Louisa May Alcott’s timeless American family tale of perseverance and hope. Audiences will also be amazed returning to the historic Sedgwick Theater after 18 months. While the building has been closed due to COVID, Quintessence has continued to make improvements on the 1928 venue, including a restoration of our HVAC system, a new fire safety system, and new audience risers and seating. This will make audiences feel more comfortable and safer than ever while experiencing Quintessence’s theatrical magic at the Sedgwick.”

Founded in 2009, award-winning Quintessence Theatre Group uses the classics to explore the fundamental question of what it is to be human in today’s world. Through intimate, visceral, and innovative productions of epic theatre, Quintessence pursues its vision to become the Delaware Valley’s center for progressive humanism and an engine for radical empathy through the classics.

General Admission tickets are $35 – $65. 
Youth tickets (21 and under) are $30.  
Tickets for active military are $30. 
Seniors receive $5 off the ticket price. 
Upgrade to premium seats for an additional $19 per ticket.  

STUDENT MATINEES: Weekday student matinees are available at a discounted student rate. To book your classroom’s visit, contact Educational Programs Manager Daniel Ciba at 215.987.4450, ext. 106, or Daniel@QTGrep.org.

GROUP SALES: Special rates are available for groups of over ten. For information on group sales, please contact the box office at 215.987.4450, ext. 1, or BoxOffice@QTGrep.org

7137 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19119

*Jordan Dobson, who was originally in the cast as Laurie, departed the production after Sunday’s performance due to being called into a Broadway production. South Philadelphia based actor Will Stephan Connell is replacing him. Connell begins performances, tonight, Thursday, December 9. Following a quick rehearsal process he steps into this role after previously playing Laurie in the Eagle Theater’s production of Little Women in 2018. Connell had auditioned for Quintessence’s production, and was recommended for the role by Dobson, who announced his departure to the company last week. 

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