A cast of 50 Grantsville High School theatre students will portray the characters of famous author-artist Dr. Seuss with their presentation of “Seussical” the musical next week at the school.
Actors began rehearsing in November with student directors and designers working since September to be ready to present the school’s biggest show of the year, said Jana Whilhite, GHS theatre teacher.
“ ‘Seussical’ is a spectacular show. It brings our favorite Dr. Seuss characters to stage,” said student director Karley Joseph.
“Seussical” is a sung-through musical, based on the many children’s stories of Dr. Seuss and conceived by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. It debuted on Broadway in 2000.
Whilhite said there are 31 songs in the play.
“Even when actors aren’t singing, there’s still usually musical accompaniment in the background for their lines,” Wilhite said. “Since the play is based on Dr. Seuss’s books, the writers thought his rhymes would work best if they were sung. Several of the songs take their words directly from Seuss books like ‘Green Eggs and Ham’, ‘Oh the Thinks You Can Think’, and ‘Horton Hears a Who.’ “
The boy JoJo is played by Jaclynn Henninger.
“What I like most about my character is how JoJo goes against the status quo by being a thinker,” Henninger said. “He doesn’t let anyone stifle his creativity. He is still able to express himself even after opposition.”
Joseph said, “My favorite thing about ‘Seussical’ is the fact that anyone can be a thinker like JoJo or protect those they love like Horton.”
Jaden Saari plays the role of Horton.
“Horton is a character that I really relate to, probably more than any other character I have played,” Saari said. “He really knows what he believes and he’s a really steadfast and dependable person. There’s a lot of me in him. I’ve done my best to pour my heart and soul into my performance of him. Horton has been one of my all-time favorite roles that I have portrayed.”
Other leading characters include Aspen Davis as Gertrude and Alex Scott as Cat in the Hat.
Davis said Gertrude provides a lesson everyone needs to hear.
“At the beginning of the show, Gertrude becomes extremely self conscious because she doesn’t look like everyone else,” Davis said. “Throughout the show she finds how amazing she is despite how she looks. I see people everyday saying how bad they look, or how they wished they looked like someone else, especially in high school. My hope is that Gertrude McFuzz can help others find their worth like she’s helped me find mine.”
Scott said he loves playing the Cat in the Hat.
“My favorite thing about my character is the way he interacts with people and being chaotic,” Scott said.
The play runs four nights Wednesday, Feb. 19 through Saturday, Feb 22 at 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.
Tickets can be purchased at the school the night of performances. The prices are $7 adults, $6 students and $5 children. Doors open each night at 7 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Feb. 22. Grantsville High is located at 155 E. Cherry Street.