GROTON -- Groton Dunstable Community Education is pleased to announce the production of "Seussical the Musical, Jr." on Friday, Nov. 1, and Saturday, Nov. 2.
Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, at the Performing Arts Center in the Middle School South building.
Tickets are available at the door and cost $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors.
"Seussical the Musical, Jr." incorporates quintessential Dr. Seuss humor and whimsy, along with bright colors and funny words. Narrated by the Cat in the Hat, "Seussical the Musical, Jr." is the story of an elephant named Horton, who discovers and vows to protect the microscopic community of Whos. Horton also becomes responsible for guarding an egg abandoned by his carefree and frivolous friend, Mayzie La Bird.
Throughout his adventures, Horton's friend Gertrude McFuzz remains steadfast and loyal, and in the end, those values -- loyalty, community, and friendship -- prevail.
Auditions for the play were open to all students at the Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School. Everyone who auditioned received a part.
Sixth-grader Josh Booth, who plays Horton in "Seussical the Musical, Jr.," is an experienced actor who has appeared in productions by the ActorSingers' group in Nashua, N.H., as well as last year's Groton-Dunstable Community Education presentation of "Honk, Jr."
"Of the eight plays I've been in, this one is my favorite," said Booth.
This year, more than 65 students are participating as actors and stagehands. The play is directed by drama and communications teacher Linda Jones, with musical direction from sixth-grade math and science teacher Diane Repaal.
"Middle-school students have no lack of energy, and they work so hard to prepare for opening night," said Jones. "It's great to watch them learn to work collaboratively on an artistic and creative endeavor. The final performances really showcase their hard work and their joy in putting it all together."
At a time when municipal and school budgets are stretched quite thin, the Drama Club strives to provide as much of its own financial support as possible. A booster club was formed this year to help raise funds for productions, and their first event, a gently- used Halloween Costume sale, generated several hundred dollars.
"Any extra money we can put toward sets, props and costumes makes the show that much better for the kids," says Rosie Pellizzari, parent of seventh-grade actor Andrea Pellizzari, who plays Sam I Am and a Who. "I've been in the PAC when the actors come in and see the stage with the set for the first time, and it's magical."
Parents of actors contribute items to include in themed gift baskets, which are offered as raffle prizes to the audience; raffle tickets are available at all performances and winners are announced during intermission of the final performance.