Six months after delivering a double-feature performance to a filled auditorium of community members, the theatre group at Carver Middle is once again itching to do their magic on stage; only this spring the group is performing a musical – “Seussical, Jr.,” a dramatized interweaving of numerous books written by the world-acclaimed author Dr. Seuss – Friday May, 6 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, May 7 at 2 p.m. in the Carver auditorium.
“They are truly a tremendously dedicated and hard-working group of young people,” said drama teacher/director Brooke Turner in her director’s note. “We’ve shared laughter and some frustrations, all knowing that we want the most out of this production.”
And when Turner says “all” she’s referring to the 40 plus students working since February, contributing to make the show a success, whether it be actors or crew members bringing an essential dish to the table.
According to Turner, the play’s message aligns perfectly with Carver’s newly established Olweus, a school-wide bully-prevention program.
“This play has such good themes, and there’s all sorts of stories … but they all have the same message, and it’s: Don’t be afraid to be an individual, and if everyone’s going to laugh at you, let them laugh …,” she said. “Horton kind of gets bullied and he stands up to them and he ends up proving them all wrong.”
Other than relaying a message to youth, Turner said the music in the performance is fun, that even if those attending are unfamiliar with the songs, they will leave singing them. “Seussical, Jr.” is considered a rock-musical, which indicates the show will mostly consist of singing and dancing.
The show will include two acts, an intermission in between, and should last for about an hour and a half. In addition to the young students “excelling at theatre,” as Turner puts it, raffle prizes will be awarded both days of the performance.
Turner reminds our community that theatre ceases to exist without an audience present, and asks that people attend the last performance of the year because the students deserve the support of the community.
“It’s not just a show; it’s kids that really have tried hard to make this show as perfect as they can make it,” said Turner, commending her students taking the initiative to work on certain numbers themselves. “…Come see some excellent theatre for middle school.”
Of the numerous students performing, five eighth-graders in particular have been accepted to programs specializing in the performing arts – Brendon Watts and Sarah Patterson have been accepted into the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology, and accepted into Thomas Dale’s Specialty Center for the Arts are Cassandra Awalt, Morgan Barclay and Courtney Berthiaume.
“We obviously feel that the performing arts are extremely important here at Carver …,” said assistant principal Melanie Knowles, “and being able to spotlight their accomplishments is something that we like to be able to put out to the community, making sure that everyone is aware they are putting on such fantastic productions.”
Cost for general admission is $6, $4 for students and is free to children three and under, plus all proceeds benefit the program and finance the program’s performances next school year. For more information regarding the show or the school itself, contact Carver Middle School, 3800 Cougar Trail, Chester, at 524-3620