This past weekend the thespians of the Upper School impressed many in their performance of the winter musical, Seussical the Musical. On Thursday and Friday night at 7pm, and Saturday afternoon at 2pm, these students finally showcased the production they have been working towards for three months. These performances took place in the W.E. Scott Theatre in the West 7th Cultural District of Fort Worth.
Seussical is based upon the many works of Dr. Seuss, with the production heavily focused on Horton Hears a Who! Because of this, the production was appealing to all students ranging from the Lower School to the Upper School. While the young students were easily entertained by such a fun and uplifting story, the older students were happily reminded of their favorite Dr. Seuss works from their childhoods, as well as entertained by some more mature comical themes, which flew over the young children’s heads.
Jane Stephens ’19 did an outstanding job performing the lead role in Seussical, portraying The Cat in the Hat. This was, of course, the case for all the actors and actresses; other lead roles were performed by Preston Sklar ’20 as Horton the Elephant, Celia Nowlin ’19 as Gertrude McFuzz, Mary Caruthers ’20 as Jojo, and Gracie Comtois ’18 as Mayzie Labird. With both incredibly animated acting skills, as well as spectacular singing voices, the actors and actresses in Seussical completely wowed their audience.
Another exciting addition to this year’s musical cast was the incorporation of Lower School students, Abbey Davis ’27, Violet Hiley ’26, and Hannah Ross ’26 each switching off nights to perform as Young Kangaroo. These students went through an audition process just as the Upper School students did and were selected for their incredible talent and enthusiasm for theater.
While the incredible work that the students put into this production cannot be emphasized enough, director James Venhaus, musical director Emily Davis, and choreographer Elise Lavallee must also be recognized for their exceptional work in organizing this wonderful performance. Another unique contribution to the musical was the incorporation of custom costumes for the entire cast, made from scratch by Carol Mittal, a substitute teacher at All Saints’. “We are so excited to perform! Our custom costumes look amazing,” said Celia Nowlin ’19 prior to performing the first show.
“Mrs Davis, Ms. Lavallee, and Mr. Venhaus put so much effort into this show,” said Branson Davis ’20, who performed as a Wickersham brother. “For every minute of this show is an hour or two of work and planning behind the scenes.”
The performance of Seussical had a number of impressive sound effects as well as a vibrantly colorful set; however, one particular special effect stood out. Each member of the audience was handed a clover, handmade by members of the crew, while receiving their program before the show. Later during the performance, the entire audience held up his or her clover, while Horton the Elephant searched for Whoville. This provided a fun and exciting way for the whole audience to be involved, creating a feeling of inclusion among the whole theater.
In each performance of Seussical, there was an incredible audience turnout including students, parents, faculty, and countless others. The Saturday afternoon performance, which was the children’s show, was particularly popular and completely sold out. The Lower School students filled the audience in support of their friends who were a part of the production. After the show, the Cat in the Hat paraded the kids out from the audience and took them on stage through Whoville. Following this, the excited kids were taken to the lobby where the entire cast, still in costume, signed autographs for them.
For all three performances, the All Saints’ students involved in Seussical displayed impeccable skill and a sincere love for performing. They were able to showcase just how many hours and how much effort they put forth into the show; based upon the audience’s reaction, all their work was worth while.
“Seussical was one of the best musicals I have ever seen! I loved seeing my friends on stage and getting to cheer them on while they performed!”, said Sienna Delconte ’19.