EAST BEND — Students at Forbush High School will present “Seussical Jr.” on May 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. The musical is based on the works of famed children’s author Dr. Seuss and features lots of colorful characters and silly and sweet songs.
“Students have been working hard since January,” said Forbush theater arts teacher Jamie Campbell. The show is 95 percent music so students began learning the songs first followed by choreography and then moved on to learning the dialogue.
“We have a wonderful group of about 38 students that have been working hard Monday through Friday on this show,” Campbell added. “They’re very talented.”
Senior Leah Thomas plays the role of Jo Jo, one of the main characters around which the story is centered.
“Jo Jo is able to find this new world that he thinks up in his head although some people tell him he is wrong and that he’s not supposed to continue to think like that, he still does it anyway and doesn’t let people get to him,” Thomas explained.
Well-known Seuss characters like the Cat in the Hat and Horton the Elephant play central roles in the production as well.
Brady Miller, who plays Horton, says his favorite song in the musical is “Alone in the Universe Reprise” in which Horton realizes how much Gertrude does for him and how he cares for her.
“They finally get together and it’s really sweet,” he said.
The students have formed a close-knit community by being involved with theater, Campbell said.
Senior Carlie Taylor agreed and said even though she will be going off to college next year, she looks forward to returning to visit with her theater family back home.
“I’ve grown up being in plays, you really build a family with everyone,” Taylor said.
Aside from building relationships, Campbell said students can learn so much from being involved in theater. A sense of pride in one’s self and pursuit of one’s goals is what student Lillian North said she has learned.
“Never give up no matter who tells you what you can and cannot do,” North said. “Keep pushing because you will achieve what you want to achieve.”
“Theater is very important for students because it gives them a sense of leadership and responsibility as well as a chance to use their communication and collaboration skills in a fun and innovative way,” added Campbell.
Seeing the progress of the students as they have prepared for this production has been one of the best parts for Campbell.
“It’s always neat to see them grow from that first page of reading and watch them develop their characters,” she said.
Tenth-grader Chasten Coleman, who plays the Cat in the Hat, said audiences should come out to support the show and see the artistic talent of Yadkin County students.
“Although it’s appealing to kids, everybody can learn something from this show,” he added.
The cast includes Riley Warfel, Tori Hicks, Kacie Hutchens, Alyssa Lane, Hannah Pearson, Natalie Beattie, Sarah Bennett, Christi Hobson, Layklin Knight, Kayla Hennings, Carlie Taylor, Brady Miller, Cole Dalton, Josh Casteen, Jamie Vestal, Leah Thomas, Lillian North, Jacob Kepley, Sarah Matthews, Keelin McArthur, Annie Jones, Zulima Gomez, Chasten Coleman, Evan Thompson, Benjamin Huffman, Jared Williams, Michael Popp, Paul Sizemore, Tiffany Kirkpatrick, Brittany White, Cierra Garrett, Destiney Griffin, Laura Martin, Abigail Belk, Kylie Bullin, Brittany Calloway, Madisynn Church, Sierra DeBord and Kayla Hennings. Assisting with technical support are Abellana Ayers, Luke Bennett, Monlea George, Savannah Lane, Sydney Matthews and Blanca Medina.
Tickets are $10. For tickets, contact Jamie Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 336-961-4644 ext. 704.
For a video preview of the production, visit www.yadkinripple.com.