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10-24-2012


Cumberlands to Present SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL

 


Williamsburg, Ky. - The University of the Cumberlands (UC) Theatre Arts’ program opens SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL Thursday, October 25th, in the Kohn Theatre of the Grace Crum Rollins building on the UC campus.

The show is based on the works of Dr. Seuss and was co-created by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Eric Idle. The musical is about a boy who “thinks up” the Cat in the Hat, and the Cat involves the boy in many wild adventures, some fun, some scary. Through these adventures, the boy learns to appreciate his “thinks.” Readers of Dr. Seuss will recognize Horton the Elephant, the inhabitants of Who, Mayzie La Bird, Yertle the Turtle, and the Wickersham Brothers among the characters on stage.

Chris Brown, who has been seen on the Kohn Theatre stage in MY FAIR LADY and INTO THE WOODS, is Horton the Elephant who deals with bullies and disbelievers while he attempts to protect the Who’s from dust speck destruction. Jillian Carpenter (INTO THE WOODS) also returns to the Kohn Theatre stage as Gertrude McFuzz, Horton’s enthusiastic but overlooked love interest. Newcomers to the fall musical production are Matthew Campbell playing the Cat in the Hat, and Zach Shannon, playing both Yertle the Turtle and the Grinch.

“What has been really fun for me,” says Dr. Kim Miller, stage director for the show, “is that many of the children from our production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL have returned to work on this show. It’s three years later, they’ve had 3 more years to hone their talent, and it’s great to work with them again.” Abby Schwartz plays Jojo, the young boy whose “thinks get him into trouble.” She is joined on stage by former cast members Elijah Harrington, Samantha Begley, Wyatt Begley, Amber Begley, Katherine Whitaker and Caeden Whitaker. They have welcomed newcomers Micah Harrington, Hannah Stephens and Tori Wohlfarth to the kid cohort of the cast.

The decision to produce SEUSSICAL arose, according to Miller, out of last spring’s arts management course, a new class offering in theatre that Miller co-teaches with theatre colleague and sceneographer Carl Walling (designer for SEUSSICAL). One project in the class requires the students to develop an entire production season, one that will use resources efficiently and yet attract a target audience, and SEUSSICAL was brought in for discussion, as some of the students were interested in children’s theatre.

“The students were very excited about the show as we discussed it in class,” said Miller, “and it kept coming up in subsequent discussions. When we looked into doing the show here, we realized it would be a good show for our student body. More importantly, this show is a stage management challenge, and we have a couple students who are finishing their work in this area, so we thought it would be a great opportunity for them.”

What’s so challenging about SEUSSICAL for stage managers? According to Miller, at last count the show has 238 light cues that stage manager Susan Stephenson will have to correctly time and call during within the show’s two hour run time.

Tickets can be reserved by calling the Kohn Theatre box office at 606-539-4535. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. The show runs October 25-27 and Nov. 1-3 at 7:30 PM and Oct. 28 at 2:00 PM.

When SEUSSICAL closes in November, the theatre faculty and students will immediately begin work on the spring show about which Miller offered five simple words, “Dean Whitaker as King Lear.”

Located in Williamsburg, Ky., University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction, which currently offers four undergraduate degrees in more than 40 major fields of study; nine pre-professional programs; twelve graduate degrees, including two doctorate, two specialist and eight master’s degrees; certifications in education; and online programs.