Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - October 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
School Time Performance Draws Huge Crowds
Houston County Courier - October 2008
By Sharron Randall
A total of over 2,000 Houston and Anderson County elementary and theatre arts students attended the two sold out School Time Performing Arts Series productions of "Seussical" at Crockett Civic Center on Wednesday, Oct. 8; once at 9:30 a.m. and again at 12:30 p.m.
Brought by Piney Woods Fine Arts Association and sponsors Kevin Lilly's McDonald's and Kinder Morgan Energy Petroleum LP, the Dr. Seuss musical is the first of the season's school time programs.
A dozen cast members of the Theatreworks USA, touring with the musical based on the best-loved characters and stories of Dr. Seuss, remained on stage after their performance for a question and answer session with high school and junior high theatre arts classes led by teacher Janet Walker.
Theatre arts students queried the 12 theatrical professionals who then responded seriously to such questions as "How can you keep a straight face?" "How can you change costumes so fast?" and "Do you make or buy your clothes?"
Among other questions were "Do you ever get tired doing the same thing over and over?" and "How were you selected for the part you played? " and "How long have you been practicing?"
The cast answered students' questions with the same animation and interest they showed in the very professional way they acted their roles: About keeping a straight face--"Like this!" changing costumes--"Lightning speed!" Clothes made or bought--"Bodies are measured and clothes are made to fit perfectly."
"Never!" was the consensus of the cast when asked if they ever got tired playing the same role over and over again. One cast member said that the "live" audience makes the difference. The a.m. show's audience and the p.m. audience's different responses make each performance more fun.
The 12-member cast has been together since the beginning of September, is part of the fall tour, have been performing for about two weeks and will continue until December. A few cast members were also on the spring tour but for most, this is their first time with "Seussical."
There were "hundreds of people, 400 or more," but only a few were selected in the huge audition process to get a part in the musical.
There followed discussions between film and theatre, how a theatrical performer must have huge amounts of strength and stamina, what ensemble means and the shouted answer of "Drive!" to the question "Drive or fly?"
Not having gotten surnames, except for one, here's a run down on each cast member, all of whom looked to be of an age akin to their audiences:
Denise, age 23, began acting, singing and dancing since she was 13-years old, from Kentucky; Jennifer, age 21, from Virginia, attended American Musical Dramatic Academy or AMDA;
Jonathan, from West Virginia; Eric, age 24, lives in New York City, acted since 5th grade; Prescott, acted since 5-years old, "I love it," in December cast; Sam, age 21, from England, began as a tap dancer;
Julia attended AMDA with others in cast, actress and model, "happy to be in Crockett, Texas;"
Terran, acted since he was 7-years old; Sabrino, age 21, half of his live has been divided between California and Boston, attended AMDA; Michael, a girl, from North Carolina, began performing since about five years, moved to New York City about three years ago;
Sarah, "a military brat," moved around a lot; in high school took dance, choir, musical theatre; Emily Crockett, lives in New York, "loves" musical theatre, performed with company since fall of 2007, and Davy Crockett is her great, great, great uncle!
Miss Crockett said that she visited the Alamo last year when the touring company went to San Antonio. Lake, after giving her a brief history of Houston County and telling her about Davy Crockett's stop at the spring, presented her with the city's trademark souvenir, a 'coonskin cap.