A group of junior high students in Rexburg is preparing for their upcoming production of "Seussical the Musical, Jr."
"It's just a fun show all around," one of the cast members told BYU-Idaho Radio. "There's a lot of cool stuff in it and it's just really fun."
The musical, which is an adaptation and combination of some of Dr. Seuss's famous works, brings characters like Horton from Horton Hears A Who and the Cat In The Hat, together.
"Transporting audiences from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus, the Cat in the Hat narrates the story of Horton the Elephant, who discovers a speck of dust containing tiny people called the Whos," according to Music Theatre International. "Horton must protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, and he must also guard an abandoned egg that's been left in his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird."
Joseph Lawless, the play's director and a BYU-Idaho alumni, says the production has required a great deal of sacrifice from both cast and crew, but watching students develop their talents and confidence makes it worth the time and energy.
"It does take a lot of time and effort," Joseph Lawless, the play's director, and a BYU-Idaho alumni told BYU-Idaho Radio. "It's educational theater, so it's always about the process, it's how do things grow from when they began, discoveries that they make as they go along, the connections and bonds that they make, even if they had friendships beforehand, coming together then - I mean, they've put in a lot of time and effort to put this show together and so it's great to see how they are able to really come together and connect and become friends and I think that makes for a stronger show as well."
That feeling of unity is echoed by the cast who laughed and smiled as they talked about how close they've become and the things they've learned while rehearsing.
"Theater has taught me imagination because being in theater is being who you're not and acting out things," a cast member told BYU-Idaho Radio. "It's given me a lot of imagination about what could, especially this play because it's talking about Seuss, I mean, Seuss is always imaginative and I really like it."
Cast members also acknowledged the production had pushed them to get out of their comfort zone and develop a level of confidence they'd not had before.
"In theater, you can't be afraid to let yourself look silly and that's kind of something that everyone struggles with is making sure that everyone thinks that they look cool," a cast member told BYU-Idaho Radio. "Whereas it's taught me to put myself out there and to do funny things and to get the crowd excited and people that I'm working with as well, to make just make it fun for everybody."
The play is December 1, 4 and 5 at 7 p.m. at Madison Junior High. Lawless says the cast is also performing on December 2 at 3:30 PM. Tickets at $5 for adults and $3 for students at the door. Seussical Jr. runs about 90 minutes.
The full interview with the cast and Lawless, plus a sneak peek of one of their numbers, "Oh the Thinks You Can Think!" is available below.