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Summer theater students prepare to perform 'Seussical'

WILBRAHAM The Wilbraham Summer Youth Theatre presents Seussical the Broadway musical based on the works of Dr. Seuss, at the Wilbraham Middle School on Friday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 10 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 11 at 3:30 p.m.

The full-scale musical production is the culmination of the Wilbraham Summer Youth Theatre's ninth season of instructional workshops and theatrical experiences for young people. It features all 68 of the program's 10- to 18-year old participants. Tickets are $12 for adults and $7 for students under 18. To order, call Box Office Manager, Jane Stenning, at 599-1870.

The Wilbraham Summer Youth Theatre is an intense 12-week program of instructional workshops and experiences in the arts. It is designed to further the enjoyment and appreciation of theatre in a friendly, non-competitive environment.

This year's participants have been honing techniques and skills in all aspects of musical theatre performance, from audition to curtain call.

They've had workshops in audition preparation, basic acting and theater techniques, musical theater skills, and character development. Workshops and training have also focused on the uniqueness of "Seuss-style" rhyming and cadence, appearance and movement, and imaginative expression.

The production is directed by Deb Trimble, with Musical Direction by Dan Mashia and choreography by Kyle Rankins. Accompanying the performers will be a 12-piece orchestra, conducted by Paul Coffill.

The large cast is led by Christopher W. Collins as Horton the Elephant, Lindsay Paige Adkins as Gertrude McFuzz, Kristin Joy Pelkey as Mayzie LaBird and Philip J. Barber as The Cat in the Hat. All are from Wilbraham. Anthony M. Yacovone, of Wilbraham, plays JoJo, and his Who parents, Mr. & Mrs. Mayor, are played by Tim D. Moran of Wilbraham, and Rachele Ann Cowhey of Ludlow.

Seussical is based on the collected works of Springfield's own Dr. Seuss Theodore Geisel.

This musical tribute to his creative and socially relevant story-telling was conceived by lyricist Lynn Ahrens, composer Stephen Flaherty, and Eric Idle. It opened on Broadway in 2000.