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Tickets On Sale For Blackfriars Theatre's SEUSSICAL

Performances run July 22-31.

Blackfriars Theatre presents its 2022-2023 BTSI (Blackfriars Theatre Summer Intensive) production: Seussical, The Musical with music and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty. The musical is an original storyline by Ahrens and Flaherty that weaves together more than a dozen characters and books from Dr. Seuss. Horton the Elephant hears a noise coming from a speck of dust on a clover and commits himself to protecting it and the Whos who live on it; Jojo, a misfit Who who "doesn't think normal thinks," struggles to find his place in the tiny Who society; Gertrude McFuzz tries to catch the attention of her love - the kind and compassionate Horton. Through mishaps and adventures, these unique characters finally find what they seek - their places in the world. This production will be student-performed as the capstone to the 2022 Blackfriars Theatre Summer Intensive program, a professional summer training program for rising juniors in high school through recently-graduated college seniors.

"Each summer our goal is to raise the bar as we challenge and train the next generation of theatre artists. We work with a diverse range of theatre students (actors, designers, stage managers, directors) who are studying to pursue a career in theatre," shares Artistic & Managing Director, Danny Hoskins. "The BTSI program is designed to push them, in a professional setting, to raise the expectations in their own work and to arm them with new tools to broaden and strengthen their skills as an actor, stage manager or designer."

This summer's performances will have an added layer of complexity for the young artists, as the musical is set in the midst of a Seuss-inspired Artist Colony, where the actors are being asked to be visual artists and instrumentalists, as well as actors. The entire 126-seat theatre is being outfitted with a 360-degree Seuss-inspired mural, designed by student Scenic Designer Abby Manard, which will cover every inch of the entire theatre auditorium and stage. The actors will contribute visual artist elements, over the course of the rehearsal process, and many of them will serve as the live orchestra on-stage - playing both their character (as actors) and their instruments, as part of the band.

BTSI (pronounced "Bitsy") was launched in the summer of 2016. The goal of the program is to provide professional-level actor training to the next generation of artists. Focused on rising juniors in high school through newly graduated seniors in college, BTSI offers continued training for students who are interested in or are currently studying to pursue a career in the field. Participating students undergo a 6-week program culminating in a musical theatre performance. Over the course of the intensive, students focus on ensemble-building, actor training and performance process (acting, voice and dance). The BTSI program begins at the beginning of June and runs through the end of July.

This summer's production holds additional meaning for Hoskins as this is his final bow as Artistic & Managing Director at Blackfriars. After seven seasons leading the company, he will be stepping down on August 1, 2022. "Having created BTSI my first year at Blackfriars, it's extra special to be rounding out my tenure with a program that is near and dear to my heart," continues Hoskins. "A lot of the student artists this summer have been with us year after year and it's very powerful and sentimental to be ending my career at Blackfriars, having watched and worked with them over each summer and seeing them grow as artists and humans each year. It's a really beautiful way to cap these past seven years."

The Seussical cast includes Charlie Bohrer (General Schmitz), Stevie Burggraaf (Mr. Mayor), Anne Olivia Cincotta (Mayzie), Marcella Cincotta (Bird Girl), Natalie Cincotta (Bird Girl), Danny Dobbins (Wickersham Brother), Ireland Fernandez-Cosgrove (Cat in the Hat), Claire Gratto (Mrs. Mayor), Jade Hill (Sour Kangaroo), Morgan Hill (Grinch/Ensemble), Tehya Moreaux (Ensemble/Jojo u/s), Mason Morrison (Jojo), E Lyons (Yertle/Ensemble), Alexa Powell (Bird Girl), J. Jake Thomas (Wickersham Brother), Bridget Welch (Gertrude), Avery White (Wickersham Brother), Ian Yates (Horton). The production is directed by Hoskins, with music direction by Amanda Meldrum-Stevenson and choreography by Lani Toyama Hoskins.

PERFORMANCE DETAILS

• Friday, July 22 at 8 p.m.

• Saturday, July 23 at 8 p.m.

• Sunday, July 24 at 2 p.m. (Artistic Talkback to Follow)

• Wednesday, July 27 at 7:30 p.m.

• Thursday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m.

• Friday, July 29 at 8 p.m.

• Saturday, July 30 at 8 p.m.

• Sunday, July 31 at 2 p.m.




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