When children read their favorite childhood books, they may often imagine what those stories would look like if they popped out of the book in front of them.
Some of the most beloved Dr. Seuss characters are about to come alive on the Eastside High School stage as the drama department presents “Seussical JR.” over seven performances from April 24-27.
“It’s something all kids can relate to, the struggle of fitting in and being who you are no matter what,” said EHS drama teacher Jennifer Fuller.
Fuller, who is in her second year at EHS, said she likes to choose shows that both kids and adults will know and enjoy. A lot of elementary schools study Dr. Seuss specifically, she said, so the play will be a good opportunity to enhance their experience in the classroom and during the show.
“Seussical” is the department’s one outreach performance of the year, where four of the seven shows are presented to classes or after school programs. These shows include one Thursday, April 24 after-school performance and three back-to-back performances during the day on Friday, April 25.
“Drama is a lot like family,” Fuller said. “It teaches a lot about life. We try to keep it pretty upbeat.”
“Seussical” is narrated by The Cat in the Hat, the adventure-loving, mischief-making feline who tells the story of Horton the Elephant. Horton finds himself in possession of a small speck of dust that is home to Whoville, a whole town of small Whos. One of the Whos, Jojo, always seems to get in trouble for thinking too many “thinks.”
Meanwhile, Horton’s troubles only get worse. He must guard an egg, left to him by the aloof and carefree Mayzie La Bird, through inclement weather, kidnapping and ridicule, all while protecting the Whos and their speck of dust from danger. The only one who believes in him no matter what is Gertrude McFuzz, a self-conscious bird with a one-feather tail who is not noticed by anyone.
The large cast list in “Seussical” allowed Fuller to include about 40 musical theater students in the production.
The Cat in the Hat is played by sophomore Cortney Holmes, alongside sophomore Monica Privette as Jojo. Kimberly Steir, a senior, takes on the role of Gertrude. Juniors Matthew Dean and Danysha Lamadieu play Horton and Mayzie, respectively.
Lamadieu, the vice president of the drama club, was chosen as one of six State Thespian Officers from more than 4,000 Georgia Thespians. She is also in the running for International Thespian Officer, of whom there are also six.
Theater at EHS has grown from a “decently-sized program” to a group of more than 200 students since Fuller joined the team. Fuller said everything about the show is done by the students, except for choreography and blocking. Chorus teacher Joel Singleton is the vocal director.