Cornerstone Youth Theatre presents Seussical

Cornerstone Youth Theatre is gearing up for a delightful trek into the characters in the famous Dr. Seuss stories

CLASSIC STORY - Cat in the Hat (Lexi Peters) sings with Bird Girl (Simran Mullakady) during a rehearsal for Cornerstone Youth Theatre’s production of Seussical

CLASSIC STORY - Cat in the Hat (Lexi Peters) sings with Bird Girl (Simran Mullakady) during a rehearsal for Cornerstone Youth Theatre’s production of Seussical

Cornerstone Youth Theatre is gearing up for a delightful trek into the characters in the famous Dr. Seuss stories in their latest production, Seussical.

Shows run Feb. 27th-28th and March 6th-7th at New Life Fellowship Church.

Curtain is at 7 p.m. with 3 p.m. performances also slated for Feb. 28th and March 7th.

Director Laura DeGraff said there will be lots of familiar faces popping up along the way as the story unfolds, and it will be sure to please long-time fans of the books plus those who are new to the material as well.

“The whole story is a bit of a mishmash of characters and intersecting story lines,” she said. “We meet the Cat in the Hat first, who acts as the narrator throughout the show. One of the main story lines comes from Horton Hears a Who, so we meet Horton the elephant as well as the Whos.

“Horton is the only jungle animal who can hear the tiny Whos living on a dust speck so he must protect them as best he can,” she said. “Meanwhile, the Whos have their own set of problems to deal with. Other characters you may recognize are jungle birds Gertrude and Mayzie, Jojo the Who, and even the Grinch!

“Audiences will notice references to all sorts of Seuss stories throughout the play and a lot of his writing is spoken exactly the way he wrote it.

“I’ve really enjoyed being able to work on this show,” she said. “The music and the script are so much fun and the entire musical is just so big and cartoony and colourful. It’s a great chance to dream big on the stage. The performers and everyone involved get to stretch themselves in a new way.”

Seuss stories certainly haven’t lost their appeal over the years, and there are a number of reasons for that. DeGraff said the stories have several qualities that “hook” people in.

“Firstly, his stories have so much fun with words,” she said. “The rhyming, bouncing rhythm keep readers moving smoothly along, and they’re a pleasure to read many times over.

“Also, they’re so creative. The characters are completely outlandish and bizarre. We’re shown worlds that we’ve never dreamt of before. Lastly, I don’t think Seuss was afraid to deal with more meaningful subjects.

“Along with the absurd fantasy comes a depth of meaning that makes people stop to think about their own lives. It’s never preachy or pedantic; it’s simply an invitation to reflect on our own experiences.”

There is a cast of 58 and a crew of 14 for this particular production – all of them between the ages of eight and 18.

“The numbers may seem intimidating to some, but it’s honestly such a huge privilege and pleasure to work with them all,” she said. “Our students are so dedicated and passionate. I personally love seeing the growth in every one of them from our very first rehearsal all the way until closing night.”

Meanwhile, DeGraff said theatre is a superb experience for young people, and really helps to build up a number of skills.

“Theatre is great for our students because it gives them confidence and skills that they can bring into any future endeavour,” she said. “Our students learn how to stick with a task until the end, how to present themselves confidently to others, and how to work collaboratively with each other towards a common goal. That’s a skill set that goes way beyond the stage.”

It’s certainly provides DeGraff with lots of fulfillment. Watching her students grow in their talents is also inspiring.

“I love the positive family environment that is at Cornerstone,” she explained. “The parents of our cast work hard to put this production on as well, and they always bring every element of the show to life.”

Directing presents a number of challenges, but in a positive way. For DeGraff, the joy springs from seeing her vision come to life onstage.

“I get to add in the shapes and colours and sounds of the production. I also love being able to work as a teacher for the cast and crew. I know I mentioned earlier about life skills gained, but our students also learn excellent theatre skills throughout the run of the show and grow as performers and crewmembers.

“I’m inspired by many things. The students are always first and foremost. Being a part of that positive experience for our students really is its own reward. On a more personal level theatre is a never-ending challenge. Like any art form, you can always be pushing yourself to think more creatively and grow in your ability. Each show I direct comes with its own set of challenges and I always come out a stronger director at the end of it.”

Tickets can be purchased online at www.CornerstoneYouthTheatre.org or by calling the box office at 403-986-2981.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

 

Just Posted

Police officers and their dogs undergo training at the RCMP Police Dog Services training centre in Innisfail, Alta., on Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Mounties say they are searching for an armed and dangerous man near a provincial park in northern Alberta who is believed to have shot and killed a service dog during a police chase. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
RCMP search for armed man in northern Alberta after police dog shot and killed

Cpl. Deanna Fontaine says a police service dog named Jago was shot during the pursuit

Alberta now has 2,336 active cases of COVID-19, with 237 people in hospital, including 58 in intensive care. (Black Press file photo)
Red Deer down to 73 active cases of COVID-19, lowest since early November

The Central zone has 253 active cases of the virus

The Sylvan Lake Gulls show off the home jerseys (white) and their way jerseys at the Gulls Media Day on June 17, before the season opener. Following the media day, the team took to the field for their first practise. (Photo by Megan Roth/Sylvan Lake News)
Sylvan Lake Gulls ready to throw first pitch as construction continues

The Gulls inaugural season kicks off June 18 with a game against the Edmonton Prospects

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

Flora Northwest was taken to the Ermineskin residential school when she was six years old. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Ermineskin residential school survivor: ‘It just brings me back to the cries at night’

Discovery in Kamloops of remains of 215 children a painful time for survivors

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

Most Read