‘Seussical’ in full swing

The cast of “Seussical the Musical” is in its fifth week of rehearsals at the Saville Theatre. They will hold their first performance on Halloween night, Oct. 31. The musical, presented by the San Diego City College visual and performing arts department, is co-directed by Professors June Richards and Alicia Rincon.

Production started on Sept. 6 with auditions for the cast. Twenty of the auditioners selected are high school students, who are part of the early college high school graduation program, funded by a grant from the Gates Foundation.

“What they lack in experience they make up in enthusiasm, sometimes they act out and do stupid things, but then again so do the college students,” said Richards.

Derrick Hodges, a 21-year-old theatre major, plays the sour kangaroo and is in his fifth theatre performance at City.

Hodges said, “We’re all like a family. Everyone is very supportive. It’s a team. No one is catty, jealous or mean. You can make mistakes and you can bring out your best and build your confidence … we build friendships. We have a really good bond here, It carries on after the show and a lot of us come back for the next show.”

“There aren’t very many stars really, it is an ensemble piece. It takes everyone to make it work. As students, they all get much more stage time than an average show,” Richards explained. “It’s probably one of the largest and more complex productions that the theater has put on for the public,” according to Richards.

“Seussical” is a compilation of different Dr. Seuss children’s books. “What I had to do as director, was I going to translate the characters out of the Dr. Seuss books literally? And I thought no, I’m not doing a children’s theater, this is for grown ups too,” said Richards.

The production is involved in giving to the less fortunate families in the community.

“The Union-Tribune has been just wonderful,” said Richards. “Since the summer time they have donated kids’ and juvenile books that they normally do reviews on, and donated them to the production. In turn the books and donated candy will be handed out to the kids the days of the performances.

“We’re trying to identify low income housing families on campus and also women living in shelters with their children so that each child will go away with some books and candy.

North Island Credit Union also gave the production a grant.

Richards said, “It has helped finance a lot of extra help. We don’t have to bare-bone it. We really can embellish and do things on a grander scale. The most important thing is that the money they gave to us, it allows us to give the free tickets away.”

Richards said, “We’re trying to identify low income housing families on campus and also women living in shelters with their children so that each child will go away with some books and candy.

The musical contains some familiar characters such as the “Cat in the Hat,” “Horton the elephant,” “Gertrude the bird,” “The taunting monkeys, and “The Whos.”

Michael Farley, music director and former student at City, plays the keyboard and conducts the hired orchestra. “We are really ahead of the curve. We have several weeks of rehearsal left. It’s really fun seeing the show grow from bare stage and having the students practice their lines sitting in chairs, to the final show night,” said Farley.

“No one is going to be bored. It’s going to be very exciting. What really makes it come alive is the audience,” said Richards

“Seussical the Musical” will be performed on the weekends from October 31 through November 16, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Total running time of the show will be 70 minutes.

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‘Seussical’ in full swing