Seussical is based off of Dr. Seuss’s most popular books — “Horton Hears a Who!”, “Horton Hatches the Egg” and “Miss Gertrude McFuzz.”
When you walk into Voorhees Middle School auditorium on March 10, 11 and 12, you’ll enter the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss with bright colors and laughter taking up the entire stage.
The Voorhees Drama Club spring musical is “Seussical,” based off of Dr. Seuss’ most popular books — “Horton Hears a Who!” “Horton Hatches the Egg” and “Miss Gertrude McFuzz.” The students couldn’t be more excited about being a part of a fun, high energetic show.
“I love being in it because there’s a lot of dancing and energy,” said Shelby Fisher, who plays Thing 2. “Dr Seuss is very big and bright.”
It’s quite the opposite from last year’s production of “Guys and Dolls.” The cast members said they are using completely different emotions this time around — happy and carefree compared to dramatic and serious.
“In ‘Guys and Dolls,’ I was a nun, so this is a drastic change,” said Jillian Bollinger, who plays Cat in the Hat. “I’m more outgoing and not closed in, so this is more for me.”
Co-director Gabrielle Horvitz loved performing in “Seussical” as a freshman at Eastern Regional High School, and said people of all ages can gain something from this show, especially the cast members.
“No matter how old or how young you are, you can learn so many lessons from Dr. Seuss books and the show,” she said. “I think that coming of age and growing up in middle school, you learn to grow and mature. It’s a great learning opportunity and lessons to implement as young adults and teenagers. If you take the lesson from each story, you can throw them into real life.”
Seventh grader Caitlin Flewelling, who plays Thing 1, said “Seussical” is bringing her out of her shell, and she’s learned to not judge someone at first glance and to treat everyone equally.
“Don’t judge a book by its cover,” she said. “Just because someone is different from you doesn’t mean you are better or they are better.”
Eighth grader Enyi Ojukwu, who plays the other Cat in the Hat, said he’s usually a serious kind of person, but while rehearsing for “Seussical,” he learned to have more fun and realize he can accomplish anything he puts his mind to.
“He (Dr. Seuss) tells you to follow your dreams, follow your hunches and follow what you think and believe in,” he said.
“Dr. Seuss gives you the courage to give you the strength to be whatever you want to be,” Horvitz said. “No matter where you come from or what you look like, you create your own destiny as long as you have the courage to do so.”
Christine Blizzard is the other co-director with Horvitz, and it’s their first year directing the show. Long-time beloved director Leta Strain directed the drama club’s spring musicals for 20 years before she retired last year, and is involved in supervision of the production. Blizzard and Horvitz have worked with Strain and the drama club the past few musicals, but taking Strain’s directing role was a big task.
“It was a little nerve-wracking at first because we have huge shoes to fill with Leta being an amazing director, but we have meshed well together and have succeeded in our goal, and I think it’s gone quite smoothly,” Blizzard said.
“She has always taught me and preached raising the bar,” Horvitz said. “I feel like that’s one of the best impacts she’s had on my life as a director and as a person. Always raise the bar within yourself and within these kids.”
Another lesson Strain taught Horvitz is similar to one that came right out of Dr. Seuss’ books.
“Always make them learn to the highest potential and keep on making them grow,” Horvitz said. “Because in life you always have to grow.”
Performances are March 10 at 7 p.m., March 11 at 1 and 7 p.m., and March 12 at 3 p.m. at the Voorhees Middle School Theater, located at 1000 Holly Oak Drive. Tickets are $12, and the box office opens one hour before showtime. Senior citizens are welcome to see the show free of charge at the 1 p.m. performance on March 11 courtesy of PRIDE of NJEA.