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College Street Players present ‘Seussical Jr.’

The College Street Players will be entering the magical world of Dr. Seuss with their upcoming production of “Seussical Jr.” This show will hit the stage at 7 p.m. March 19-21, with an additional 2 p.m. matinee performance March 21.

Angela McMinemon is the producer, and she said the play is poised to be a hit for the entire family. Featuring some of Dr. Seuss’ most classic characters, the show will include songs and big themes.

“It will have Horton the elephant in it, and it’s got the Whos, and it’s about him trying to protect them. Then there’s a little drama going on where there is a crazy little bird girl, and she takes off and leaves her egg, and Horton is sitting on it because he is compassionate,” McMinemon said. “When she does come back, she is always busy and has other things to do, and I guess the theme could be summed up in one of the songs: It goes, ‘A person is a person no matter how small.’ It’s a life-giving little play with lots of music.”

The production will feature more than 55 actors in second grade through high school. McMinemon said the College Street Players have been working on this show since their spring 2019 production.

“As soon as ‘Junie B. Jones’ was finished, we spent a couple of weeks looking at different options … and we looked at some of the past shows that we did and thought we could reuse, but then we decided on “Seussical Jr.” in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday,” McMinemon said. “We knew if we did ‘Seusscial Jr.’ it could be in honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, and we know the schools are doing a lot of Dr. Seuss things too and that it can be in support of some of the things they are doing.”

With such young cast members, McMinemon said the Players have welcomed several first-time performers. She said one of the rare things about this show is seeing how quickly everything is coming together and how well the students are adapting to their roles.

“We have children that will come in, and they have confidence challenges, and by the time they get their role and they learn their lines, and they learn how to bring that character to life, it also brings them to life in a way. It’s just theatre magic,” she said. “You just watch a kid grow and become confident in their ability and tell a story using what they have.”

The show is under the leadership of first-time directors, as well. McMinemon said co-directors Dynette Weeks and Marcia Sartin have acted before but have taken their first leadership role in this production.

“They have been in the plays, and now they have stepped up into leadership roles and taken the responsibilities of directing,” McMinemon said. “They showed up at the cast meeting, and they had everyone’s scripts ready, and they were already marked and had their names on it; they had the schedules ready. They’ve just been extremely organized and fantastic communicators.”

Throughout planning and preparation for the production, McMinemon said she has seen the goal of the College Street Players in action. She said the group has pitched in to make something for the entire community.

“The reason why we do what we do is to bring stories to life and to bring joy to the community. There are so many different churches that are involved, like people from different churches, and they bring their gifts and their talents and their abilities together for the community, and it is a beautiful thing to watch,” she said. “I think it demonstrates who all of us are and that God made us all special. He gave us gifts, talents and abilities to help us have joy in our community.

“All of this is voluntary,” McMinemon added. “CSP is a non-profit organization, and everybody who is on our board genuinely does this for the love of our community.”

Tickets for “Seussical Jr.” can be purchased through cast members, online two weeks before the show or at Hartselle High School. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for seniors and students and free for those 3 years and younger.

For more information on the production or to purchase tickets, visit College Street Players at collegestreetplayers.org.

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