Alabama Shakespeare Festival Brings THE CAT IN THE HAT To Life Onstage
Alabama Shakespeare Festival presents Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat on the Festival Stage January 11 - 25, 2020. Based on the 1957 book by Dr. Seuss, the play was adapted by Katie Mitchell and originally produced by The National Theatre of Great Britain. N.D. Seibel returns to ASF to direct the Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA) production, which features this year's Fellowship Company.
The Cat in the Hat recounts the rainy-day adventures of Sally, her brother, and the most mischievous cat ever! From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears at their door, the Cat's antics transform the kids' afternoon. Will their house ever be the same? Can the kids clean up before their mom comes home? With some tricks (and a fish) and Thing Two and Thing One, with the Cat in The Hat, the fun's never done!
ASF has a history of creating performances for young people. Since its founding in 1972, 1.5 million students have participated in ASF's student matinee series, and countless families from the community have been entertained with live performances of folk tales, musicals, and classic children's stories.
"For many, a live theatre performance at a young age kicks off a lifetime appreciation of the arts," said ASF Artistic Director Rick Dildine.
"Dr. Seuss may have enticed children to read, but he also embedded lessons within his rhymes and images," said Seibel.
ASF Fellow Vivienne Claire Luthin portrays the playful Cat. "I hope our version of The Cat in the Hat reminds [audiences] of the book, but also surprises them with our new additions and characters," said Luthin. "The Cat in the Hat is all about fun and using your imagination, but it's also about knowing how to be responsible."
The cast is comprised of seven additional Acting Fellows, a group of early-career artists who recently appeared in ASF's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. George Lamar appears as Boy, along with Sania Hyatt as Sally. Kira Player and Andrew Greiche portray Things 1 and 2, respectively; Jeremy Sapadin and Matthew Zimmerman play the Kittens; and John Cencio Burgos is the Fish.
The creative team includes Lighting Designer Fellow Elizabeth Spurlock, Audio Engineer Mackenzie Adamick, and Stage Manager Fellow Izzy French.
ASF will host a Sensory Friendly performance of The Cat in the Hat on January 18 at 10:00 a.m. Sensory Friendly performances feature a welcoming, supportive environment and invite audiences to enjoy a show at their own pace. While these performances are designed for audience members on the Autism spectrum, anyone who will benefit from these services is welcome to purchase tickets. Adaptations to the performance are slight, including lower sound levels and elimination of potentially startling effects and lighting. Audience members are welcome to vocalize, move around, and leave and return if they need to do so. Individuals are encouraged to bring any personal communication devices or sensory supports they might need. In addition, ASF has six sensory kits that can be checked out from the gift shop for use during a performance. A quiet area will be provided if patrons need to take a break or relax during the performance. This sensory-friendly experience is made possible with the assistance of Easterseals Central Alabama. To learn more, visit ASF.net/sensoryfriendly.
Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat is recommended for ages four and older. This production is general admission. Matinee performances are scheduled on three consecutive Saturdays (January 11, 18, and 25) at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Tickets for adults are $30 and tickets for youth (ages 17 and younger) are $20. To purchase, call 334.271.5353, visit the ASF Box Office (open Monday - Saturday, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.), or go online: ASF.net/catinthehat.