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Cast Will Sing, Dance AND Play the Music for Bay Area Children's Theatre Production of Seussical!

The Cat in the Hat accompanying himself on the piano? Yes, and the accordion, harmonica, melodica and ukulele as well.

That's what families will see when the Bay Area Children's Theatre (BACT) presents Seussical, TYA, a streamlined, kid-friendly version of the exuberant Broadway musical that brings to life everyone's favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, Gertrude Mc Fuzz, Mayzie LaBird and other inhabitants of the captivating worlds imagined by the late, great American writer and illustrator Theodor Seuss Geisel.

Seussical, TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) features actor-musicians who will sing, dance, and play their way through the story, music and lyrics by Tony Award winners Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens-opens Saturday, October 8, at the Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, CA 94703 and plays weekends at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (No performances Sunday, October 23.)

Phil Wong as the Cat in the Hat narrates the travails of the faithful Horton (Simon Trumble) as he tries to protect the tiny Whos and take care of that egg left to his care by flighty Mayzie. A magical, musical tale of determination and friendship, Seussical, TYA is directed by Derek Travis Collard and recommended for age 3 and up.

TICKETS: $25 adults, $23 seniors, $20 children, $15 groups (minimum 15)

BOX OFFICE: www.bactheatre.org or call (510) 296-4433

The Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse is easily accessible by BART-an especially good choice right now while the parking garage down the street is closed for renovations.

After its Berkeley run, Seussical, TYA moves for one weekend only to the Dougherty Valley Performing Arts Center, 10550 Albion Road, San Ramon, CA 94582, with performances November 12 - 13 at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

The production completes its run at the Children's Creativity Museum Theater, 221 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, playing weekends, November 19 - December 18, at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Phil Wong (The Cat in the Hat), an actor, musician, teacher, and resident artist with San Francisco Shakespeare in the Park, was last seen at BACT as The Narrator in Bad Kitty On Stage. Wong's love of Dr. Seuss began at age five when he memorized the entirety of The Lorax and recited it for Mrs. Scott's kindergarten class. Now, many years later, he dons the iconic red-and-white hat to share his love of Seuss with BACT audiences.

Benjamin Nguyen (Jojo) returns to BACT after performing in Ivy + Bean, the Musical (Eric/Dad). He was most recently seen in Bay Area Musical's inaugural productions of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Mr. Gatch) and Hair (Woof). Other credits include Fiddler on the Roof (Featured Dancer/Dance Captain) and The Music Man (Tommy Djilas) at Berkeley Playhouse and Into the Woods (Jack) with StarStruck Theatre.

Jenny Angell (Gertrude McFuzz) recently graduated from Marymount Manhattan College's musical theatre program, and returns to BACT after appearing in Miss Nelson is Missing (Allison) and Pinkalicious, the Musical (Dr. Wink). Credits include Once Upon a Mattress (Lady Larken) and NEO 11 at The York Theatre; Cabaret (Sally Bowles) at Oldcastle Theatre Company; Guys and Dolls (Hot Box Dancer) at Jewel Theatre Company; Gypsy (Hollywood Blonde/us June and Louise) at Contra Costa Musical Theatre, and The Little Mermaid (Allana) at Berkeley Playhouse. www.jennyangell.com

Simon Trumble (Horton) recently created the role of Dump Truck in BACT's Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site-The Musical. Simon works as a teaching artist for Bay Area schools and arts organizations including Berkeley Playhouse, the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and California Shakespeare Theatre.

Amanda Nguyen (Mayzie La Bird) is making her BACT debut in this production. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Drama. An active Bay Area performer and former musical theatre teacher at Westlake School for the Performing Arts in Daly City, her credits include Rent, West Side Story, Dames At Sea, Miss Saigon, In The Heights, Kiss Me, Kate, and Beauty and the Beast.

Jeffrey May Hyche (Mr. Mayor), a Bay Area native, born and raised in the heart of San Francisco, is making his BACT debut in Seussical, TYA, fulfilling a childhood dream of performing professionally with a touring children's theatre company. He was last seen in the Male Ensemble of Berkeley Playhouse's The Little Mermaid.

Chelsea Wellott (Mrs. Mayor) has previously been seen at BACT in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Elephant and Piggie: We are in a Play!

Heather Warren (Bird Girl/Ensemble) makes her BACT debut in this production. Recent credits include Beauty and the Beast, Neighborhood Church (Silly Girl, dance ensemble); Elephant & Piggie, PACT (Squirelle); It's a Wonderful Life, Coastal Repertory Theatre (Sally Applewhite as Mary Bailey); Mary Poppins, Starstruck Theatre (Mrs. Brill). When not on stage, Heather teaches art (Camp Galileo), drama, and public speaking/debate.

Branden "Noel" Thomas (Sour Kangaroo) was last seen at BACT as Ziggy in Three Little Birds, A New Reggae Children's Musical. Thomas trained in ballet and African dance at a young age and began singing in the 11th grade, after he was admitted into the Oakland School for the Arts and its award-winning concert choir. His musical theatre credits include Avenue Q (Gary Coleman), Wish Upon A Star (Ursula), and Hairspray (Motormouth Maybelle).

Creative and Production Team

Beryl Baker (Associate Producer) recently joined the staff of BACT as Operations Manager. After earning a BA in Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, Beryl completed a Fellowship in Sound Design during the 2009-10 season at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and then joined the company for six years, during which time she also co-founded an experimental theatre company, Highly Impractical Theatre. Baker has designed sound for numerous Bay Area theatre companies, including BACT, and performs live music in the Bay Area as part of the musical duo Beryl & Nicole.

Derek Travis Collard (Director) is delighted to bring the world of Dr. Seuss to a new generation of theater goers. Previous directing credits: The Addams Family, Forbidden Broadway, Legally Blonde, All Shook Up, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee; assistant director for Round and Round The Garden with Tony Award-winning Director John Rando at The American Conservatory Theatre. His theatrical career has taken him from Broadway to National and International Tours as well as China, Japan, England, and Europe. Recent performing credits: A Year with Frog and Toad, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Company, James and the Giant Peach, Into The Woods, The Full Monty, Beauty & The Beast, Little Shop of Horrors, Angels (Pre-Broadway), A Christmas Carol, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Sweeney Todd, Rocky Horror Show, and Dr. Seuss' How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Collard is assisted by Music Director Grace Renaud, Choreographer Amanda Maxwell, Lighting Designer Kevin Landesman, Costume Designer Eva Herndon, Scenic Designer Martin Flynn, Props Designer Joan Howard, and Stage Manager Caroline Brown.

Established in 2004, the Bay Area Children's Theatre, is a nonprofit organization that serves more than 90,000 children and adults throughout the Bay Area, with main stage performances in Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco and San Ramon; selected productions in local schools; and classes and summer camps in more than 10 East Bay communities.

Our Mission: To inspire young audiences with imaginative productions, introduce children of all backgrounds to the excitement of Live Theatre, and create an engaging, entertaining, and educational environment in which children and their families can explore and enjoy the arts.

How We Carry Out Our Mission:

· Bring high quality, professional theatre to children and their families, with artists who create vibrant worlds that are intriguing to young audiences

· Encourage young people to explore literature, language, and the arts by producing stage adaptations of great children's books

· Engage preschoolers in the world of theatre with productions specially designed for them

· Develop and perform exciting new work for the stage

· Reach out to children who might not otherwise experience Live Theatre with free tickets, special performances for school groups, and touring productions at local schools

· Create touring productions for young audiences nationwide

· Partner with communities to meet the need for theatre education

· Introduce children to the joy of performance through our theatre education program

Please note that show opens October 8 in Berkeley and moves to San Ramon, San Francisco, in November.


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