South Coast Repertory Teen Acting Students Present SEUSSICAL

With characters ranging from the Cat in the Hat to Who Fish to Yertle the Turtle and others, the award-winning musical Seussical is a crowd-pleaser for all ages. Seussical, with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and based on the book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, will be presented by South Coast Repertory's Theatre Conservatory Summer Players. The show runs on the Julianne Argyros Stage, August 11-19, and is directed by Hisa Takakuwa, with musical direction by Erin McNally. Tickets are available at www.scr.org.

This magical, musical extravaganza has Dr. Seuss characters from nearly 20 of his books. Cat in the Hat is the host and Horton the Elephant is the guide for this journey from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the World of the Whos, as a little boy with a big imagination proves that a person is a person, no matter how small. This Broadway hit is about the power of friendship and loyalty.

The Summer Players is an ensemble of talented young actors from SCR's Theatre Conservatory who audition for roles in the annual summer production after at least one full year in the Conservatory classes. The cast for Seussical features 32 Orange County school children.

"The characters in the world of the play are so lively and colorful," said Takakuwa. "The music is incredibly vibrant and wide-ranging in style-both things that provide a great challenge to and learning opportunity for our young actors. And, most importantly, it's Dr. Seuss! The story explores and expresses timeless human themes of family and friendship, loyalty and generosity, and the power and inspiration of imagination."

Each year, Takakuwa and McNally select a summer show that will give the most theatrical education benefit to young Conservatory actors and create a wonderful, entertaining experience for families of all ages.

"Seussical really seemed the right fit for the kids currently in our program and, quite frankly, Erin and I love this show," Takakuwa said. "It has an amazing score. Erin has said to me many times, 'I'm so excited we get to spend the summer with Seussical!'"

This is Takakuwa and McNally's 12th musical together. Takakuwa has been director of SCR's Theatre Conservatory for 13 years and has performed in the theatre's Educational Touring Productions and as Sally in A Christmas Carol. She is a former member of the classical theatre company, A Noise Within.

McNally is an actor, vocalist and educator. A longtime Theatre Conservatory instructor, she created SCR's musical theatre classes for advanced teen students. She is a frequent guest soloist at the Hollywood Bowl and the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, among other venues.

The design and creative team includes Leah Ramillano, set design; Kathryn Poppen, costume design; Karyn D. Lawrence, lighting design; Jeff Polunas, sound design; Holly Ahlborn, production manager; and Julia Bates, stage manager.

Thirty-two Conservatory students from 18 schools and 17 Orange County cities and towns are featured in the cast. See the full cast list, with school and town/city information below.

The show runs Aug. 11-19 (Saturday, August 11, at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Sunday, August 12 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Friday, August 17 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, August 18 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Sunday, August 19 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.).

Tickets are $18 for children and $22 for adults, available through the SCR Box Office at (714) 708-5555 or online at scr.org.

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