Student story: Seuss on the loose at Belleville East

Belleville East High SchoolFebruary 4, 2014 

Do you ever wonder what it would be like to see the world through the eyes of a child?

What would it look like to go inside the mind of a child? The answer can be found within the works of acclaimed children's author, Dr. Seuss. His writings bring colorful simplicity to the world through the eyes of a child. His books have shaped the way children learn, read and even think. He wrote over 60 books for children.

In honor of Dr. Seuss, this February Belleville East will be presenting "Seussical." This musical is vibrant, entertaining and encompasses many classic Seuss stories. These include Horton Hears a Who, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Yertle the Turtle, Horton Hatches the Egg and more.

The brilliant musical adventure begins with the most famous character of all, The Cat in the Hat, portrayed by senior Molly Compton. The Cat narrates the story of Horton the Elephant (junior Korey Prosise) who discovers the Planet of Who on a small speck of dust. He finds out that tiny people called the Whos live on this dust speck and he forms an unlikely friendship with Jojo (junior Lindsey Smith), the odd child of the Mayor of Whoville (junior Matt Huebner) and Mrs. Mayor (junior Ivana Nanthavong). Jojo is always getting into mischief for thinking too many "thinks."

Horton's challenges grow as he has to protect the Whos from a world of dangers as well as guard an incubating egg left behind by careless, irresponsible Mayzie La Bird (senior Anna Kurtz) and her followers, the Bird Girls (juniors Ari Brown and Haley Stelling, sophomores Erin Tippit and Madison Bradshaw). Although Horton faces many challenges, including the bossy Sour Kangaroo (sophomore Bianca Kurtz), the rambunctious Wickersham Brothers (junior Jordyn Schrad, sophomore Sophia Fike, freshman Amber Kelso), and her sidekick son, the Young Kangaroo (freshman James Huebner), the love-struck Gertrude McFuzz (junior Thema Thomas) never loses faith in him.

Help Horton protect the Whos or just Monkey Around in the Jungle of Nool Feb. 6-7 in the Belleville East High School Performing Arts Center. There are performances both nights at 7 p.m. The cost is $5 with a potential discount for students who attend the Friday night show.

Assistant Music Director Timothy Hassall, who is directing "Seussical," said the play inspired his passion for music, evolved into the job he holds and loves at Belleville East. He said he has wanted to direct a production of "Seussical" ever since.

"Seussical" also features a live orchestra composed of 20 Belleville East band members and musicians from the Belleville area. The score is not easy to play, but it is upbeat, heartwarming, fun-loving music that will make any audience member smile.

And what is a musical without an equally amazing stage? Teacher Rick Hodson is the technical director for "Seussical." Junior Sarah Donovan designed a set that splits the stage in half, creating both the Jungle of Nool and Whoville in a colorful and exciting way.

Senior William Tippit, the student technical director as well as the light and sound booth operator, said being on the tech crew is an interesting challenge as working behind the scenes to create all the magical elements is one tough job without the live orchestra.

Tippit explained a live band would usually over power the singers and create feedback in the speaker system. But no need to fear, Tippit has it all under control and is excited to work tech again. This will be Tippit's 12th show he has worked behind the scenes. According to him, "Mr. Hassall has selected a nice group of actors, and it will be a great show."

From Solla Sollew to The Circus McGurkus, Tippit, Donovan, and their 25 fellow 'techies' have a surprise waiting behind every note of this cute and quirky musical production.

Hassall has a great vision for the production. He said, "We have a perfect cast, passionate people behind the curtain and a great band in the pit."

Come along for this thrilling adventure into the world of Dr. Seuss with your fellow community members. It will be a spectacular show that you do not want to miss.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service