The Savannah Children’s Theatre presents “Seussical” this January. “Seussical” is a musical comedy by Tony winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, based on the many children’s stories of Dr. Seuss, with most of its plot being based on “Horton Hears a Who!”, “Gertrude McFuzz”, and “Horton Hatches the Egg while incorporating many other stories.
This production has been in the making for a while.
“We actually cast this back in January of 2020, and production was shut down because of covid-19. We promised the cast that one day we were going to bring the show to fruition, that we would see it through. Some of these cast members have literally been preparing and waiting for these roles to come to life for two years,” said Jenn Doubleday, The Savannah Children’s Theatre Associate Director.
This is not their first time producing “Seussical,” but the Savannah Children’s Theatre feel that it is the timeless and timely message of the show that makes it great to present again right now.
“This is like our 10-year challenge since we did this show in 2012,” said Doubleday. “It also seems like the perfect show to bring to Savannah right now because it is about including your community and everyone in your community, from the smallest of small to the tallest of tall. It’s a really great message for togetherness and for inclusion.”
“I am lucky to be surrounded by such talented people of various ages. Finally getting the chance to do this show is very refreshing for me. I absolutely love doing this show,” said JoJo Ward who plays the Cat in the Hat in the show.
In addition to actors being on stage there will be puppeteers, costumers, prop makers and a newly installed video wall where Dr. Seuss images will be projected onto the stage. They also added circus elements to this show.
“I’ve been the director and choreographer. We’ve been working on circus elements like aerial silks to bring some of our circus students to the stage. There has been a lot of choreography, both on the ground and in the air,” said Doubleday.
Driven by their mission to inspire, educate & entertain children & families through the experience of live theatre, both on & off the stage the Savannah Children’s Theatre has produced more than 60 productions since its debut in 2004. For them this show matches their theme and in the spirit of togetherness they are seeing this show through.
“This cast is one of the most dedicated and dynamic groups of people I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. They all know every moment of the show, they sing on stage, they dance on stage, they cover for each other. They’ve been working on costumes and on props. They have been such a huge part of creating this supportive, collaborative community. I wouldn’t have wanted to do this two-year journey with any other group of people. They are outstanding,” said Doubleday.
Covid-19 has continued to cause various groups to continue to adjust and the Savannah Children’s Theatre is taking the necessary steps to keep everyone safe, but they are excited to present this show live.
“In Act 1, the Cat in the Hat says ‘How Lucky to be in the Theatre. More lucky than you know’ That pretty much sums it up for me. I am very lucky to be a part of this production,” said Ward.
Hearing that line gives Doubleday says gives goosebumps. “I just keep coming back to that line whenever I think about the show and what we’re doing right now. We are very lucky to be in this theater, and we are very lucky to still be able to serve this community this way,” she said.
The show runs January 20–23 and 27–30. Tickets can be purchased at savannahchildrenstheatre.org