“Seussical” Cast Crew Make Debut

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On Feb. 12, the “Seussical” cast and crew perform a reduced version of the musical for McKelvey Elementary students in an effort to expose the younger generations to more theatre. “I [chose ‘Seussical’] because I’m looking for ways to get younger kids connected to theatre. Little kids are not as afraid to try and do things, so if I can figure out a way to get them interested in theatre early, it builds stronger theatre people,” said Little.

Sara Hong, Assistant Editor

After numerous cycles of sashaying, sewing and sawing, the cast and crew of “Seussical the Musical” prepare to put the imaginary world of Dr. Seuss on the stage. “Seussical the Musical” will debut at Parkway North on Feb. 20-22. The Thursday and Friday shows will begin at 7 p.m. and the Saturday matinee show will begin at 2 p.m.

“Seussical the Musical” by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty is a musical that revolves around the story of “Horton Hears a Who,” but the plot weaves in various other storylines and includes cameos from many other Seuss characters. 

The Parkway North Theatre Department produces one musical every other year, so for juniors and seniors, this will be their last high school musical production.

“[Having this show be my last musical] makes me really sad because I didn’t get into it earlier,” said junior Joey Sawyer, who plays one of the Wickersham Brothers as well as having the role of Dance Captain. “I decided to audition because I’ve always been too scared to do it, but I knew this year would be my last chance [to perform in a high school musical.]”

Productions at North are mainly student-run. In almost all of the technical aspects, there are tech lead roles. Those who earn the title essentially run their particular department with guidance from the directors of the show.

This year, three tech lead positions are held by underclassmen who are responsible for ensuring that their department runs smoothly and for training the people in their departments to take on leadership positions in the future.

“At first, it was very overwhelming. As I’ve gotten more used to it, especially with the help of my co-tech lead, Sur [Mishra], I’m very proud of myself for being able to step up into this position,” said sophomore Anjola Ola, Co-Lead of Construction.

One of those underclassman tech leads also doubles as an actor for the show as well.

“[Being both a tech lead and a cast member] is really difficult because I had to practice a lot at home and do a lot of tech stuff at home as well. I have to basically do both at the same time sometimes, but I’m having fun with it,” said sophomore Abby James, Head of House and Marketing.

Having a student-led system can be very beneficial to cultivating responsibility and accountability amongst other important skills. However, these students are still teenagers, and there can be some issues that turn up.

“I think the biggest [problem] is attention span. Theatre is a lot of fun, but it’s also a lot of work. I don’t want people to be afraid of hard work, but I also want them to enjoy it. It’s that balance between the two [that can be difficult to keep],” said director Chad Little.

The work that the cast and crew put into the show is essential to the success of the performances on show nights. As the crew works hard to build sets, create costumes and make props, the cast members also work hard to fill the shoes of the characters they were given.

“The thing I enjoy most about my character is how into his ideals or philosophy he is. I love how much I can play with the character to bring him to life,” said Sawyer. “I’m trying to show people and to myself that I can do something like this. I sing all the time. I’m in choir and acapella, but I’ve never done acting even though I’ve always dreamed of being a performer.”

Some students consider theatre and the fine arts a passion of theirs and go on to pursue it as a career. Some join theatre as a hobby and some join because of the community.

“Theatre is important because it is an art form that encompasses all art forms. It has dance, music, language, and visual art. It incorporates all those things as well as building community. There are so many kids who don’t fit into things that can fit into theatre,” said Little.

In one week from now, all of those different aspects will come together to create the world of “Seussical”. Tickets are sold online at PNHTheatre.booktix.com or at lunch. Adult tickets are $12, students are $8, seniors/ ITS members are $6.50 and children under 12 years old are $5. Prices will go up at the door.