"Playwright David Longest has taken the classic Louisa May Alcott novel and expanded it into a sweeping historical tale. The play begins with Louisa May recalling her own childhood. We quickly meet the real Alcott sisters and the many literary greats who visited Orchard House, their home in Concord, Massachusetts: Henry David Thoreau, once Louisa May's teacher; Thomas Niles, her editor and publisher; Ralph Waldo Emerson, a close friend of the family; George Bartlett, a local Concord actor; and a host of other real-life characters who influenced Ms. Alcott throughout her life. As the dramatization of Little Women begins, the fictional plot of the novel and the real-life friends and family of Louisa May Alcott are cleverly entwined. This powerful, tender and touching play brings us new insight into the person Louisa May Alcott actually was and showers us with renewed hope in the strength of family bonds and the spirit of love."
Director - Keriann Menz
Producer - Brian A. Palmer
Board Representative - Randi Honkonen
Assistant Director - Lynette Grace
Stage Manager - Jordan Sauer
Assistant Stage Manager - Allison Freed
Set Designer - Ivory Mazur
Lighting Designer - Ivory Mazur
Sound Designer - Brian A. Palmer
Properties Designer - Jaimee Levitt
Costume Designer - Amy Sparks
in alphabetical order
Hannah, Mrs. Moffat - Charlisa Anderson
Elizabeth Alcott, Beth March, Sallie Gardiner - Serenity Andrea
Little Louy - Ellie Armstrong-Phillips
Bronson Alcott, Captain March - Brad Barbin
Professor Friedrich Baehr - Matthew Barr
Clara Gardiner - Mackenzie Biemer
Mr. Gardiner, Mr. Davis - Michael Bull
Louisa May Alcott - Emma Church
George Bartlett, John Brooke - Matthew Connolly
Anna Alcott, Meg March - Shannon Connolly
Little Anna - Lillie Gorenz
N. Moffat - Westley Gorenz
Abba May Alcott, Amy March - Ellie Haenick
Belle Gardiner - Rory Hall
Abba Alcott, Marmee - LauraLee Jingo
Theodore Laurence - Jeff Kemeter
Mr. Moffat - Nolan Mecham
Little Abby - Cass Menz
Hannah (Understudy), Mrs. Moffat (Understudy) - Keriann Menz
Aunt March - Randi Morgan
Little Lizzie - Evangeline Mosier
Thomas Niles, Kate Moffat - Devon Mushalko
Henry David Thoreau, Freddy Vaughn - Dylan Sedam
Daisy Gardiner - Aila Sorensen
Mrs. Gardiner, Margaret Fuller - Amy Sparks
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mr. Laurence - Todd Taylor
Elizabeth Peabody, Annie Moffat - Madison Toulmin
Young Louisa May Alcott, Jo March - McKenna Willis
Hannah, Mrs. Moffat
Charlisa Anderson has worked in the Columbus theater community acting, directing, and costuming for almost two decades. Previously she was seen in Aethereal Jest Arts Council’s first production, Community Theatre Triple Feature - Volume One. Other favorite stage credits are Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, Stepmother in Cinderella, and Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn in The Music Man. As well, she has worked behind and in front of the camera in television and numerous commercials and films. Love and thanks to her family, especially husband Steve, for all the support!
Elizabeth Alcott, Beth March, Sallie Gardiner
Serenity will be portraying the roles of Elizabeth Alcott, Beth March and Sallie Gardner in tonight's performance! This is the first production that she has done with the Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Some of her past credits include: Kate (orphan) in Annie (SoArtsPro Theater Co) Performing at the Columbus Arts Festival, Theater Roundtable Awards and Columbus Black theater festival. Serenity
would like to thank her Mom, Keriann, and Brian. She has enjoyed her castmates and this experience of being a part of Little Women of Orchard House.
Ellie is elated to be making her Aethereal Jest Arts Council debut. Past credits include the Young Sour Kangaroo in Seussical the Musical (Thomas Worthington High School) and Ensemble member in Tuck Everlasting (Worthington Community Theatre). Although Ellie is an only child in real life, she has loved having three "sisters" in this production. Big thanks to her mom, dad, dog (June), Keriann and the rest of her cast family.
Bronson Alcott, Captain March
Brad is pleased once again to be performing with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Most recently, he appeared as Lysimachus in Rome Is Where the Heart Is. Brad is a Columbus based federal trial attorney by day and has been performing throughout Central Ohio for the past decade at CATCO, Weathervane, Gallery Players, Columbus Civic Theatre, SRO, Eclipse Theatre Company, Original Productions Theatre, and Worthington Community Theatre. His favorite roles include Brick Pollitt in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Richard Hannay in 39 Steps.
Professor Friedrich Baehr
Matthew is beyond thrilled to be working with Aethereal Jest Arts Council for the first time! Matthew has recently appeared as Aaron in First Date (NACP,) Jack Black in Jumanji: The Parody Musical (C.A.M.P.Y. Columbus,) and Carl/The Door in The Breakfast Club: The Totally 80’s Musical (C.A.M.P.Y. Columbus). Matthew is a behavior therapist in the field of ABA Therapy by day, and has worked with children for nearly a decade. Many thanks to Brian and Keriann for their support and understanding. “It’s chaos; be kind.” ~Michelle McNamara
Michael D. Bull
Mr. Davis, Mr. Gardiner
Michael will be making his Aethereal Jest Arts Council debut in the roles of Mr. Davis and Mr. Gardiner. Recent credits include a choral role in The Hunchback of Notre Dame [King Avenue Players], Percy Snodgrass in Oliver! [Westerville Parks & Rec], and Herr Zeller in The Sound of Music [Westerville Parks & Rec]. Special thank you to Brian, Keriann, and the creative team for making this possible.
Louisa May Alcott
Emily is loving being in her first straight play since high school. Little Women of Orchard House is her first production with Aethereal Jest Arts Council, but it will hopefully not be her last. She has most recently been seen in the ensemble of Tuck Everlasting with Worthington Community Theater, as well as Kaitlyn (T-Rex 1) in Triassic Parq, Shemp in Evil Dead the Musical, and Schwoopsie in Firebringer all with Cyclodrama. Emily has also been on stage with Millersport Community Theater, Gallery Players, Pickerington Community Theater, and Imagine Productions. Emily would like to thank her family for being supportive of her first love- the stage, as the bug bit her very early.
George Bartlett, John Brooke
Tonight's performance will feature Matthew in two distinct roles, as the flamboyant friend and editor of Louisa May, Mr. George Bartlett, and as the modest tutor of Laurie and husband of Meg March, Mr. John Brooke. This is Matthew's first production with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Matthew would like to thank his castmates and directorial team, with special shout outs to his intrepid stage manager, Allison Freed, and his wife and fellow castmate, Shannon Connolly.
Anna Alcott, Meg March
Shannon will be portraying the role of Anna Alcott and Meg March in tonight's performance. Shannon is excited to make her debut with Aethereal Jest Arts Council and to work with her husband Matthew in his first stage performance. She would like to thank her family and friends for their continued support of her acting, as well as Keriann for her confidence and direction.
May Alcott, Amy March
Ellie is so excited to be performing in her first show with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. By day, she is a junior at Columbus College of Art and Design. She recently moved to Columbus from Detroit, where she has done theater for many years. Her favorite roles include Pugsley Addams in The Addams Family (Birmingham Village Players), Gloria in Wait Until Dark (Farmington Players), and Allison & others in the five actor version of First Date (New Albany Community Playhouse). She would like to thank the entire cast and crew of Little Women of Orchard House for making this production a possibility and hopes you enjoy the show!
Abba Alcott, Marmee
LauraLee is excited to step into the roles of Abba Alcott and Marmee with Aethereal Jest Arts Council! Favorite past roles include Potiphar’s Wife in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (WNHS), Miss Lark in Mary Poppins (WPRCT), Frau Schmidt in The Sound of Music (WPRCT), Mrs. Sowerberry in Oliver! (WPRTCT), and the Foley Artist for two Christmas Live Radio Plays (WPRCT). Other recent projects: Westerville’s Uptown Scrooge 2022, Butterfly Guild’s The Sound of Music 2023, and being a Supernumerary in OperaColumbus’ Rigoletto this past spring. Enjoy the show!
Jeff is excited to be in his first Aethereal Jest Arts Council production! Jeff recently appeared in Curtain Players production of Goodbye Freddy and previous Curtain Players productions include My Three Angels, Present Laughter, Rest Assured, Sense and Sensibility, 16-3-3 Home, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Arsenic and Old Lace, Crimes of the Heart, Wendy Darling, among many others. Thank you, Holly!
Set Designer, Lighting Designer
Nolan is excited to make his Columbus theatre debut in Little Women of Orchard House. Formerly of Walnut Creek, CA, Nolan has performed in a variety of stage and film productions, including as: Norbert Garstecky in The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Captain Keller in The Miracle Worker, Jupiter in the musical Olympus On My Mind, and Everett Sullivan in the feature film Neon Sky, for which he received the Tiburon International Film Festival award for Best Actor.
Cass Menz is excited to be making her stage debut with Aethereal Jest Arts Council! She is a student at All the Children of the World Academy. She is in her fourth dance season at Leap of Faith Dance Company where she does Jazz dance. She'd like to thank God and her family for their support and love, making her dream come true!
Director, Understudy (Hannah, Mrs. Moffat)
Keriann Menz is excited to bring Little Women of Orchard House to life on stage. She studied at Cedarville University where she received her bachelor of arts degree in theatre performance and a minor in business administration. Her experience has included various backstage roles including everything from props to stage managing and onstage acting in plays and musicals. She received a DayTony award of Merit for properties for the production of And Then There Were None. Following college, she pursued an Administrative Theatre Internship in Naples, FL at the Gulfshore Playhouse. Since then she has focused her time on starting a family and has two beautiful girls ready to follow in her theatre footsteps.
Her theatre experience has been reignited over the last year and she is excited to take on this new venture as director. She feels her experience in the business and performing side of theater has made her well-equipped to pursue this opportunity! The story of Little Women has always had a special place in her heart from the moment she watched the first black and white movie of it when she was a child. Her vision for this production is to not only tell the story through fresh ideas, but to draw in the audience to a classic filled with new meaning and new life! Her hope is to bring Louisa May Alcott front and center by paying tribute to the real story.
Randi will be playing Aunt March in tonight’s performance. This is the second production she has done with Aethereal Jest Arts Council, portraying Juror #7 in Twelve Angry Jurors. Randi’s previous theatre experience includes acting and directing with Roundtown Players and MadLab. Randi would like to thank her husband, Peter Graybeal, for his encouragement and support.
Evangeline is ecstatic to be making her stage debut at Aethereal Jest Arts Council with such an incredible cast! She would like to thank her friends, family, and teachers for their endless support.
Thomas Niles, Kate Moffat
Devon Mushalko will be portraying the roles of Thomas Niles and Kate Moffat in tonight’s performance. This is her second production with Aethereal Jest Arts Council, having previously played Juror 11 in Twelve Angry Jurors. Recent roles include Mina Harker in Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy [Actor's Theatre of Columbus], Player Duchess/Voltemar in Hamlet, 1603 [Actor's Theatre of Columbus], Antipholus of Syracuse in The Comedy of Errors [Lord Denney's Players] and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing [Lord Denney's Players]. Devon would like to thank the cast and crew for their hard work and creativity, and her parents for steadfastly supporting her artistic endeavors.
Brian A. Palmer
Producer, Sound Designer
Brian served as the Producer for tonight’s production. This is the third production that he has done with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Past credits include director for Nighthawks (New Herring Productions), Roger Hopewell in The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 (Little Theatre Off Broadway), and costume designer for The Game’s Afoot, or Holmes for the Holidays (Worthington Community Theatre). Brian would like to thank Anthony, his family, and friends for all of their love and support.
Assistant Stage Manager
Jordan served as Assistant Stage Manager for tonight's performance. This is the third production that she has done with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Past credits include: Light Operator for Present Laughter (Curtain Players), Sound Board Operator for Jerry Finnegan’s Sister (Eclipse Theater), and Assistant Stage Manager for One Slight Hitch (Eclipse Theater). Jordan would like to thank her loving fiancé, and her friends and family for their continued support.
Dylan R. Sedam
Henry David Thoreau, Freddy Vaughn
Dylan will be portraying the roles of Henry David Thoreau and Freddy Vaughn in tonight’s performance. This is the second production that he has done with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. Past credits include: Guard in Twelve Angry Jurors [Aethereal Jest Arts Council] and Eddie in Mamma Mia! [Capital University Theatre]. Dylan would like to thank Drew, his family, and off his friends for always supporting him!
Costume Designer, Margaret Fuller, Mrs. Gardiner
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Mr. Laurence
Elizabeth Peabody, Annie Moffat
Madison is thrilled to be back for her second show with Aethereal Jest Arts Council! She is portraying Elizabeth Peabody and Annie Moffat in this production. Previously, Madison has been seen in AJAC’s Twelve Angry Jurors (Judge, Understudy Juror 5) and Worthington Community Theater’s Tuck Everlasting (Ensemble, Understudy Woman in Yellow). Madison’s all-time favorite roles include Capital University’s The Election (Tracy Flick) and Capital University’s Murder Can Be Deadly: a Mack Guffin Mystery (Mary Jane Doe). Madison would like to thank her husband Andrew for his unwavering love and support. Enjoy the show!
Young Louisa May Alcott, Jo March
McKenna is extremely excited to be portraying Louisa May Alcott/Jo March in this production; it is a dream role for her. This is her second production with Aethereal Jest Arts Council. She has been acting for over a decade and wouldn't have it any other way. Some of her favorite roles include Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Mavis Wilson in Love From a Stranger, and Aggie Wheeler in The Game's Afoot. She would like to thank her wonderful family and friends as well as her number one fan... You know who you are.
Board of Directors
Jonathan Nininger, Chair
Megan Mateer, Vice Chair
Anthony Reitzel, Treasurer
Justin Powell, Secretary
Randi Honkonen, Director at Large
Brian A. Palmer, Ex Officio Director