The Midlothian High School Fine Arts Departments presented “Seussical the Musical” as its spring production Jan. 16-19. The musical, which is based on the works of Dr. Seuss, showcases The Cat in the Hat telling the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing Whos, including Jojo, a Who child sent off to a butter battling military school for thinking too many “thinks.”
Horton’s attention to the speck of dust and his “loitering” care of Mayzie LaBird’s egg has elicited taunting and accusations from the rest of the animal kingdom, except for Gertrude McFuzz, who longs for his attention, and JoJo, whose “thinks” save them all in the end. The underlying message of the musical is “a person is a person, no matter how small.”
Starring in the role of Horton the Elephant, senior Ashton Smith said this particular character allowed him the opportunity to embrace his inner elephant.
“Horton is very awkward,” Smith said. “He is constantly made fun of by the other animals, because he’s so different. Playing this part allowed me to showcase my awkward inner elephant. That is how I describe myself so many times.”
Smith said playing whimsical characters is his favorite role to play, because it allows him to do whatever he wants.
“I’ve always loved doing these sorts of characters,” he said. “You don’t have to be a real person, you can be anybody you want and do whatever you want. And you don’t have to fit a particular mold.”
After graduating from MHS, Smith plans on attending the University of Texas at Arlington where he will study musical performance.
At one point in the muscial, Mayzie LaBird puts Horton in care of her egg while she decides to run off to Florida. After spending several weeks on vacation, she meets up with him again at the Circus Magurkas, only to abandon him again. However, there is one character that never deserts Horton, Gertrude McFuzz, played by senior Ana Berthaelsen remains true to Horton.
Berthaelsen said she loved playing the character of McFuzz, because it gave her an opportunity throw herself into the show.
“I read the script over and over, and took my own interpretation of Gertrude,” she said. “When playing a part like this, you have no choice but to throw yourself into the role.”
Rachel Luken, a senior who played the Cat in the Hat, agreed with Berthaelson by adding that all sense of pride must be thrown out of the window when playing the sort of roles they played.
“I had to throw away all humility to play this part,” Luken said. “It’s all about diving in and embracing who the character is.”
Luken said when she was looking at the roles for this musical, she immediately knew this was the role for her.
“This was my dream role,” she said. “I mean, who wouldn’t want to play The Cat?”
Although she loves acting and musical theater, Luken said she has a strong love for technical theater, and she will studying lighting design while attending Texas State University.
Starring in the role of Mayzie was Mckenna Woodlan. Woodlan said she had done done Seussical before as a young child, and fell in love with Mayzie’s character.
“The girl who played Mayzie was amazing and I absolutely fell in love with the character,” Woodlan said. “So getting this role was a really big opportunity for me.”
She said a lot of people who play this character always showcases Mayzie’s sassy side, but she wanted to prove that Mayzie could be played with dimension.
Theater director Stephanie Jarrell has spent seven years with MHS and instructing theater students. She said the main reason they chose to perform Seussical was because it had a huge chorus, and it was entertaining. She believed it would be the best way to showcase the amount of talent that the student body of MHS displays.
“I hope that everyone who came out to the show was entertained,” Jarrell said. “I also hope they recognized the amount of talent that we have here in our school. These kids put a lot into this production and I’m very proud of them.”
Jarrell said Seussical the Musical was great family-friendly event that was good for the community.
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