Actresses connect with sister characters in Little Women


Libby Peterson (left), Emmy Cuvelier (bottom middle), Maddie Olsem (upper middle) and Morgan Darrow (right) pose after a musical number.

Hollie Schlesselman

It’s time to set the stage for Iowa State University’s musical production ofLittle Women. This female-empowering show, which is based off of the novel written by Louisa May Alcott with the same name, will be premiering on March 31 at Fisher Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

The show is set in the midst of the Civil War in Concord, Massachusetts and in New York City. Even though their father is fighting as an army chaplain for the Union, the March sisters are happily living with their mother. They look forward to spending time with one another, no matter what.

A bond between sisters is like no other, and it’s definitely true for the March sisters. Though they are all different from one another, they always find a way to include each sister in their activities. Luckily for the actresses playing these roles, it was easy for them to connect to their characters.

Amy, who is played by performing arts major Emmy Cuvelier, is the youngest. She loves to draw pictures of her surroundings and loves everything visually beautiful. She causes some trouble throughout the play because of her temper, but she always finds a way to make it better for her and her sisters.

Cuvelier relates very personally with her character.

“I feel like we were all cast very well and that our characters fit our personalities very well,” she said. “My character is like the young, sassy one who was kind of a brat to the rest of her sisters. I’m not gonna lie, I was kind of a brat to my sisters growing up.”

Beth, who is played by performing arts major Libby Peterson,  is the third-eldest sister of the bunch. She is the quietest of the sisters, but she has the highest of moral standards. She is a very talented pianist and is passionate about her ability.

Peterson connected with Beth immediately because she is also the middle child in her own family.

“I was definitely the peacekeeper,” she said.

Meg, who is played by vocal performance major Morgan Darrow, is the eldest sister. She is very motherly towards her younger sisters and is very much like their mother, Marmee. She also has a love for the luxurious things in life, but her generosity and motherly ways outweigh her love of the glamourous. Her ability to keep the peace between a houseful of women is the strength of her character.

Darrow is also the oldest sibling in her family, so she was able to transform into Meg March with ease.

“I always tried to set a good example and keep the peace,” Darrow said. Much like Meg March, she found ways to help her own siblings.

Jo, who is played by vocal music education major Maddie Olsem, is the second-eldest sister amongst the “little women” and the protagonist of the musical. The storyline circles around her pursuit to become a writer of “blood-and-guts stuff” thrillers. Her tomboyish ways influence the musical’s storyline in such a way that makes the musical entertaining to watch.

Oslem identifies very well with Jo in this sense.

“I think I relate so much to her because… I was a tomboy when I was younger,” Oslem said.

Oslem also connects with Jo March’s values.

“She’s [Jo] very much not a conformer to the norms of society,” Oslem said. “I like to think I don’t conform to society’s norms,” she finished.

Oslem, Darrow, Peterson and Cuvelier hope that the audience will “get invested” in the show and enjoy it just as much as they enjoy playing the March sisters.