News Stories

Iowa Conservatory’s First-Ever Spring Musical, Little Women


Little Women Astonishes

Iowa Conservatory’s first-ever spring musical, Little Women: The Musical, opened on May 16th, 2024. Made up of both ICON students and local talent from within the Iowa City community, Little Women was nothing short of astonishing. 

Theatre Arts Department Chair Lenni Stone directed the show, giving it a personal touch as she originally hails from Concord, Massachusetts — the exact setting of Little Women. Lenni was able to draw on her own experiences as a young woman in Concord to inform the direction of the show. 

Our lead role of Jo March was captured perfectly by Iowa Conservatory senior Londyn Kirol. Along with fellow ICON senior Avery Slaubaugh (Beth March), the pair brought audiences in The James Theater to tears during their pivotal, heart-wrenching performance of “Some Things Are Meant to Be.” 

These performances were only strengthened by the rest of the cast. Junior Ella Vakiner created moments of levity as Amy March, while local Iowa City student Maya Hanna brought romance and maturity in her performance as Meg March. The four sisters were only elevated further by Gap Year student Melia Bohn playing Marmee, giving the role the grace and vocal talent it deserved. The March women made audiences laugh and cry over and over throughout the show, earning a standing ovation at every performance. 

Students holding their hands out during a performance of Little Women: The Musical.

A Collaboration Between Faculty and Students

Faculty collaborated with students to bring the show to life. Music Department Chair Dr. Max Moreno worked one-on-one with students in voice lessons to strengthen each song, both in solos and ensembles. Costume Design Instructor Abigail Coleman guided students through designing and working on costumes unique to each character. Design & Production Department Chair Kristen Olinger led students in stage management and lighting. Visual Arts Department Chair Kyle Powell and her students helped create the backdrop and paint set pieces. 

From start to finish, every detail was a collaborative process between professional, world-renowned faculty and student-artists. Students got real world experience in every aspect of theater, from costume design to lighting to stage management and, of course, acting. 

Special thanks to the ICON, The James and Nolte communities, Scott Olinger, Patrick Du Laney & Cornell College, University of Iowa marketing department, Emily Bushá, Riverside Theatre, the Iowa City theatre community, and West High School – Arts Department.

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