When I joined my son's family last night to go see their daughter's high school musical, we didn't know if we would need MASKS or not. Our state has withdrawn the mask mandate, but not for all situations, especially not for indoor gatherings of more than 50. We fully expected the students in the show to be wearing masks as well. When we entered the auditorium, everyone was wearing their masks. But when the show started, lo and behold, the actors were mask-less! YAY! We had the hope of hearing their voices and watching their facial expressions! We could pick out my granddaughter in the crowd, too!
The students gave wonderful, high energy performances. The sets and costumes were whimsical and so colorful, right out of the Dr. Seuss books. I was blown away by the calibre of the voices. The director, Mr. Brown, told the audience that "Seussical" had never been a show that he intended to ever do at the high school. But, he had seen a performance last year at a local community theater that changed his mind. After his hard work of studying to find the deeper concepts and cultures represented in the show, he was able to direct the kids in a very entertaining, meaningful show.
The first time I saw "Seussical" was many years ago at a community college. It was presented by a cast of adults. I had always thought that this show was written for adult actors to perform for young audiences --- NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND! Unfortunately through the years, I have gone to see way too many elementary and middle school versions of this show and have been completely underwhelmed. And no wonder, the show is comprised almost entirely of singing and dancing. The young actors (10-13 year olds) just did not have the experience, stage presence, and maturity to carry off such demanding roles.
Fortunately, the vocal and dancing talent of the Skyridge High School in Lehi, Utah was up to the challenge of these demanding roles. I was so glad not to have to just endure another trying performance. I was pleasantly surprised and so happy to ACTUALLY SEE THE KIDS FACES. That alone was worth the price of admission!
My name is Betsy Bailey. I have sung, written and taught music all of my life. I enjoy writing and directing Children's Theater shows. This blog will be directed to topics on creating the magic of Children's Theater. I would love to hear your comments!