From May 9 to May 18, Davis’ undergraduate theater group Studio 301 will be presenting the Tony Award-nominated Broadway hit Seussical the Musical (Seussical). This show will mark Studio 301’s annual musical production.
Seussical is based off of multiple children’s books by the late author Dr. Seuss. The musical incorporates bits and pieces from Horton Hears a Who!, Horton Hatches an Egg, The One Feather Tail of Gertrude McFuzz and is narrated by the infamous Cat in the Hat.
The production is jam-packed with narrative songs that bring you into the Jungle of Nool, one of Dr. Seuss’ wacky, imaginative worlds in which important journeys are taken and lessons are learned. Seussical garnered a fan-base quickly when it was first released due to the familiarity and popularity of Dr. Seuss’ children’s books among the American public. Studio 301 will likely attract many local fans of the author’s work.
Zoë Samborski, a fourth-year dramatic art major, is the director of this production of the musical. She said she chose Seussical because most actors would be familiar with the characters and would be able to comfortably dive deeper into their roles.
“It [familiarity] allows for the actors to excel since they are playing roles that they are familiar with and a storyline that they understand,” Samborski said. “There can be more time [spent] going in depth with their characters and less time just trying to figure out the basics [of their role].”
The cast is made up of UC Davis students from a range of different majors. Studio 301 has been in pre-production for the musical since January and started rehearsals at the beginning of Spring Quarter. The cast and crew rehearse Tuesday through Saturday around four to five hours a night. A lot of focused rehearsal is required for the show as it features over 20 musical numbers with choreography.
To some people it might seem odd that a college theater group would produce a show aimed towards children, but Seussical’s lessons are much more complex than they first appear and transcend a typical “children’s” musical.
Jason Moscato, a second-year double major in dramatic art and linguistics, is the show’s choreographer. Moscato said he believes that though the musical is originally aimed towards children, there are important messages nuanced in the production for adults as well.
“Many prevalent social issues, including perceptions of mental illness, body dysmorphia and child abandonment is played through these iconic Seuss characters,” Moscato said. “The balance is very effective, and makes the show more than just a show for children. The substance of the show and the high contrast between the lighthearted and serious content make the show a must-see.”
The show will feature silly, over-the-top costumes and props to properly reflect Dr. Seuss’ zany world. Rachel Wagner, a fourth-year dramatic art major, is the assistant director of the production and said she is looking forward to putting on a show in which all people can attend, regardless of age.
“I’m most excited about giving a chance for young kids to experience live theater, especially because they get so little exposure to the arts in school,” Wagner said. “It gives a chance for families to come and all enjoy live theater together on a budget.”
The show will run May 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. and May 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 2 p.m. It will be located at the Wyatt Pavilion Theatre. Tickets are $12 general admission, $10 for students and $5 for children 10 years old and under.
AKIRA OLIVIA KUMAMOTO can be reached at email@example.com.