A group of students rehearses a scene and sings a song from the family friendly show “Seussical,” based on works by Dr. Seuss. (Jeff Ferland) (click for larger version)
January 11, 2012An enthusiastic group of Gilford Middle School students ranging from grade five through grade eight gathered in the chorus room Thursday, Jan. 5 to prepare for their upcoming presentation of the musical "Seussical."
Performing Arts Director Matt Demko was thrilled to have a huge group of students ready to hit the stage for this high-energy show.
Demko described the show as centered around classic Dr. Seuss stories like "The Cat in the Hat" and "Horton Hears a Who." Shows are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 19 and Friday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m., with two shows on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
According to Demko, there are about 50 students on the cast list — so many that he had to double-cast almost all the larger roles.
"It's unbelievable how many good kids we have," said Demko. "It's great to have so many dedicated kids. A lot of them have given up things to be in the show."
Ideally, he hoped to have a cast of fifth and sixth graders and a cast of seventh and eighth graders; however, he said things did not work out that way.
"It's great, though; each of them brings their own perspective and different interpretations to the roles," said Demko.
Demko, along with GMS teachers, GHS students, and even Gilford alumni like Lauren Sandborn as vocal director, have pitched in to help make the show a success.
"It's really a group effort," said Demko.
While some students are on stage for their first performance, others, like seventh grade student Kayla Zarella as Mayzie, have been on stage for as long as they can remember.
Zarella said she started acting at four-years-old, and this show marks her 13th performance.
According to Zarella, her character was a bit self-centered, but very energetic, and she was having fun playing the part.
"The songs are amazing, and she is a fun person to get to play," said Zarella.
Zarella said she plans to continue acting, and hopes to further study theater.
Catherine McLaughlin, playing the Cat in the Hat, was fallowing her older sister, who played the same role in a pervious performance.
"It is the part I kind-of really wanted because my sister had the part," said McLaughlin, describing it as some sort-of short running family tradition.
While she did not have many songs, McLaughlin said her character is in almost every scene, as she narrates the story and guides the character Jojo.
A flock of Bird Girls, played by Gabby Podmore and Caitlin Nash-Boucher, and the Baby Kangaroo, played by Nicole Daigneault, said they were particularly pleased with their somewhat sassy roles.
According to Podmore, the girls are mainly back-up singers and dancers who follow Mayzie around whishing to be popular, they did have a few solo parts in some songs.
Kaylee Lemire, who plays Gertrude, admitted she was a bit of a "newbie" to the stage with only a few performances but said she was having fun with the show.
"Everybody should come see the show," laughed Lemire. "It is great. The songs are good, and Demko is a great director."