Youth Theatre Company Presents Seussical Jr.
The beloved Horton the elephant and the tiny Jojo return to the Del Valle stage on May 18-20 as the talented youngsters of the Youth Theatre Company present Seussical Jr.
One of the most-performed shows in America, Seussical Jr. creates a magical world inhabited by such creatures as Lazy Mayzie the bird, the Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz—a determined little bird with a one-feather tail, and many more.
“We’ve done this show before,” says YTC coordinator Rachel Pergamit. “But even though the story is the same, each production has its own personality thanks to the cast.” This year’s cast includes Mitch Anderson as the brave little boy, Jojo. While Mitch is new to YTC this year, his sister Emma was with the group for several years, appearing in a previous production of Seussical and winning the Best Female Vocalist in Atlanta as Grandpa Jo in Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. “We’ve been fortunate to have the Anderson family a part of YTC. They’re all great, and Sally, their mom, has even played piano for two of our shows, Mulan and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Rachel adds.
The story centers around Horton the Elephant, who finds himself faced with a double challenge—not only must he protect his tiny friend Jojo (and all the invisible Whos) from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left to his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him. She is the only one who recognizes "his kind and his powerful heart."
According to Rachel, “Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community emerge triumphant in a story that makes you laugh and cry—a perfect fit for our students.”
The all YTC’s production of Seussical Jr. features 120 students from every aspect of the program, encompassing age ranges from five to 18. “It’s always a bit of a challenge having so many students from such a wide age range in the same production, but it always turns out great. The teens help the younger kids and they all have a great time learning from each other,” says Rachel.
Junior Theatre members will anchor the show by performing the main roles while the Mini Kids, Kids Theatre and Teen Theatre members will play ensemble roles.
Kyle Peterson, who was most recently seen on stage in the Teen Theatre production of Bye, Bye Birdie, takes on stage managing duties. “I’ve stage managed one of the Kids Theatre and Junior Theatre shows before, but this is my first time with such a huge production,” says Kyle. “Everything moves so fast that it’s really keeping me on my toes.” Other members from Teen Theatre join Kyle backstage running sound, lights and helping with props and set changes.
For tickets to Seussical Jr., go to www.lesherartscenter.org or call 925-943-SHOW.