First Folio Presents World Premiere Adaption Of LITTLE WOMEN

The production will be directed by Artistic Associate Melanie Kelle and is a marvelous and heart-warming holiday show for the family.

By: Nov. 18, 2022
First Folio Presents World Premiere Adaption Of LITTLE WOMEN

First Folio Theatre continues its final season with Louisa May Alcott's LITTLE WOMEN, a World Premiere adaptation by Artistic Associate Heather Chrisler.

The production will be directed by Artistic Associate Melanie Kelle and is a marvelous and heart-warming holiday show for the family. Four young women, gathered together in an attic, bring to life the beloved tale of the March sisters with all the trials, tribulations, and triumphs that arise from helping to blaze new horizons for women in the 19th century. The production runs from December 14 through January 15, 2023.

The production was originally scheduled for the Spring of 2020 but was canceled the week before opening due to the pandemic. The adaptation was written for a cast of four, with each actor playing one of the sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy) and three of them doubling as one of the love interests (Laurie, Professor Bhaer, and John Brooke). Executive Director David Rice made sure that this production was added to the final season saying "This is the strongest adaptation of the Louisa May Alcott work I've ever seen, and I was determined to give our people the chance to bring it to the stage."

Artistic Associate Heather Chrisler wrote this adaptation specifically for First Folio, working on it for three years prior to its originally scheduled production. Following that postponement, Heather continued to workshop the show around the country, putting the final polish on the script. Heather has been seen on First Folio stages in multiple productions, as well as at theaters such as the Goodman, Writers', Victory Gardens, A Red Orchid, and many others. She will be making her directorial debut later this season with First Folio's production of And Neither Have I Wings to Fly.

The cast of LITTLE WOMEN includes four newcomers to the First Folio stage. Shelby Lynn Bias will be playing the headstrong Jo, who is based on Alcott herself. Stephanie Fongheiser takes on the role of the eldest sister, the calm and loving Meg, as well as playing Professor Bhaer. The young sisters are played by Jamie Herb (in the dual role of Beth/Laurie) and Esther Fishbein (as both the youngest sister Amy as well as John Brooke).

The production will be helmed by First Folio Artistic Associate Melanie Keller, who has previously directed Silent Sky, Mary's Wedding, and All Childish Things at First Folio, as well as directing productions for Montana Shakespeare, Signal Ensemble, Irish Theater of Chicago, and Wildclaw. Leslie Ann Sheppard will be joining the production as Assistant Director.

Two-time Jeff Award winner Angela Weber Miller will be designing the scenery with Jeff Award Winning props designer Cassy Schillo returning to partner with her on the look of the show. The rest of the design staff includes Sarah Riffle (lighting), Uriel Gomez (costumes), Barry Funderburg (sound and original music), Sheryl Williams (intimacy and movement), and Forrest Hejkal (technical director). Alan Ball is the stage manager with Nicholas Carlstrom as the assistant stage manager.

LITTLE WOMEN previews December 14-16, opens December 17 and runs through January 15, 2023. There will be matinee performances on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, providing families with a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays together in a celebration of family love.

First Folio wants to remind audience members that proof of vaccination (2 shots of Moderna/Pfizer/Novavax or 1 shot of J&J) will be required for admission. Audience members will also be required to wear masks at all times inside the building.

All performances take place at the Mayslake Peabody Estate, located at 1717 31st St., off Rt. 83, in Oak Brook. First Folio is easy to get to via the East-West Tollway (I-88) or the Stevenson Expressway (I-55). Free parking is available on the grounds. Preview tickets are $29. Regular-priced tickets are $49 on Wednesdays and Thursdays (seniors are $44), and $59 on Fridays through Sundays (seniors are $54). First Folio is also continuing to offer a special $20 Student Ticket for all performances. Three-show subscriptions are still available for $75-$145. Season subscriptions and individual tickets are on sale now and may be purchased by calling the box office at 630.986.8067 or online at