By: Matthew Parris
Theater students at Trevecca are hoping to connect with the inner child of their audience with this year’s fall play, “Seussical.”
The Trevecca Communication Studies Department will present the musical Oct. 25-Nov. 3.
The musical is a compilation of the many characters and stories of Dr. Seuss. Specifically, it follows Horton and Jojo, from “Horton Hears a Who,” on their journey to better understand themselves, to better understand what love and sacrifice means and to see the world differently from how they are used to seeing it, said Jeff Frame, professor of communication studies and director of the show.
“I think students who come to see the show are going to enjoy it because it kind of brings out the kid in you,” said Frame. “It gets you back in touch with that childhood, a little bit. It’s playful. It’s imaginative. It’s magical.”
The theater program has a tradition of alternating between light and fun stories and darker, more mature plays every other year. Following last fall’s production of “The Secret Garden,” Frame and they decided to follow up with “Seussical,” a high-energy, feel-good show.
Trevecca performed “Seussical” in 2009, and Frame was intentional about the repeat.
“I thought it might be kind of fun to reimagine that show again with this new group,” he said.
In addition to an infectious soundtrack, the show explores themes of friendship, self discovery, and the distinction between reality and fiction, truth and illusion. It also explores and rebukes the many forms that bullying takes.
Sophomore Cooper Ebel is cast as Horton the elephant.
“Our cast is incredibly talented, and our director has a really cool vision for the direction that he wants to take the show. I think our audience will really enjoy seeing their favorite Seuss stories come to life,” Ebel said.
The cast of 27 spends up to 20 hours a week in rehearsals now and will ramp up to 40 hours a week rehearsing during tech week.
Frame estimates that by opening night, the cast and crew will have dedicated more than 200 hours to design and production.
“Seussical” opens Oct. 25 at 7 p.m., running Oct. 26-27 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 1-3 at 7 p.m., with a Sunday matinée at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children 10 and under, $10 for senior adults and $5 for Trevecca students with IDs.