Saturday, March 22, 2014

Running Through Act 1

Our all-star cast just finished running through Act 1! It's looks and sounds fantastic!

Bianca is the cutest Jojo!

General Schmitz whips Jojo into shape.

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a....Who?
Umbrellas add a unique touch to the great choreography!
Horton is concerned about his tiny new friends.
Photo credit: Maggie McGill

Afternoon Vocals

Time for vocal rehearsal! After lots of manual labor and a pizza break, the cast is rearing and ready to sing!

The whole gang's here.

Stacey runs lines with the pit. 

The woodwind section is killing it!

Lynn and Moy running through a song.

Stage crew members show tremendous strength and agility.
Photo Credit: Maggie McGill

Set Build Saturday

The cast and crew is hard at work this morning, moving and assembling set pieces in  Brodbeck Music Hall in preparation for tech week.
Donuts and Joe butts

Ella signs her handiwork

Joe and his drill getting down to business.

Our tiniest actors splatter painting set pieces.

Stacey measures strips of fabric.
Photo Credit: Maggie McGill

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Horton Hears A Lew!

Hello everyone! I'm Lew Dean and I am playing Horton in Suessical. I am Liaison to HCSMT and I was a Bad Idea Bear in Avenue Q.

To start this post I should talk about why I auditioned for Horton. Honestly, I think I admired Horton and related to him more than the other characters. He is suffering from many of the same issues that plagues our society: exploited kindness, bullying, and being shunned. Although he faces such difficulties, Horton still manages to keep his head up and be kind to others. His actions send a really great message to the audience. Even though you may feel alone in the universe, if you just listen, there will be someone out there who believes in you. Being able to play Horton, and experiencing his kindness, is making me a genuinely better person. It has been a transformative experience, and the show hasn't even opened yet!

Before auditioning for Suessical, I actually didn't know much about the show besides being based off the books of Dr. Seuss. What truly connected me to the show was its characters, especially Horton, and the music. The music expresses the intense amount of emotion projected throughout the show. 

As far as the cast is concerned, no other group could be better. There are a lot of new faces in HCSMT this year. It is my co-performers that inspire me. They work as hard (or harder) than me, and they inspire me to perform my best every time that I go to rehearsal. It is interesting having a cast primarily filled with people younger than me, in contrast to my experience in Avenue Q last year. This year has brought a lot of talent that has truly allowed the story to shine. There is heartbreak, laughs, and joy throughout Suessical, and they have captured it all perfectly.    

Friday, February 21, 2014

Meet the Grinch!

Hey everyone! 
I'm Matt Dyjack and I'll be playing the Grinch in the upcoming production of Seussical. I'm a senior  at Hood College and this will be my first time acting in a theatrical production.
Being a member of HCSMT has been an awesome experience! Everyone brings tons of energy to rehearsal and the mood has been extremely positive. Each cast member supports each other and helps each member reach their potential. Bianca and Stacey have helped me with my singing  (I found out that I'm a bass which I didn't know before), and Josh and a few others have been helping everyone learn the dance routines and get the timing down.
Seussical has introduced me to a style of work and collaboration that I hadn't experienced before. The show is very much about how everyone comes together collectively, but still requires mastering your individual parts. 
To help get in touch with Seussical, I read almost every Dr. Seuss book in the library and read "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" four times. 
Even though I don't have as much musical or acting experience as most of the cast, each member has been extremely supportive of me and helped me out with whatever I need. It really has been an amazing experience and I'm glad to be able to be a part of it before I graduate!
 I'm excited to watch the show continue to grow and bring Dr. Seuss' characters come to life!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Great Who Celebration

Since the beginning of January, I have had the pleasure of directing six elementary school children in HCSMT's production of Seussical. Each has a large personality, an abundance of energy, and love for performance. The children will appear in three different show numbers as the Who children of Whoville; stuck between the old ideals of their parents and the new ones on which JoJo, the Mayor's daughter, thrives. 

Each week, we teach and review the dances they need to know for the show. They pick up on everything quickly and bring to the stage a magic that only children seem to possess: imagination. Every child's personality comes through to create a spectacle that is both adorable and impressive.

All six children have been working tirelessly to bring Whoville to life come March. To help them in their efforts, HCSMT will be hosting a Fundraising night on Wednesday, February 12th at Mamma Lucia's.

The restaurant is located on 1700 Kingfisher Dr here in Frederick. They will be available to us from  4-10pm. There are dine in and carry out options available. Just be sure you tell your server or hostess that you are with Hood College Student Musical Theatre!

As I have said, each child is special and brings a light onto the stage each and every Tuesday night. They deserve to have a night that is all their own with supporters from both the Hood College and Frederick communities.

We want to give you all the chance to get to know the kids a little better! Below are their profiles. Take a look! 

1) Who is your favorite superhero and why?
     -CatWoman because I love cats

2) What Olympic Sport is your favorite?
    -Ice Skating

3) What is your favorite Disney Movie?

4) What is your favorite food?

5) What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?
    - Green Eggs and Ham

6) What is your favorite part about being in the Seuss cast?
     -All the dancing! 

1) Who is is your favorite super hero and why?
   -Lionel Messi, because he is awesome

2) Which Olympic sport is your favorite?

3)What is your favorite Disney Movie?

4) Favorite Food?

5) Favorite Dr. Seuss book?
   -Green Eggs and Ham

6) Favorite Part about being in the Seuss cast?

1) Favorite super hero and why?
   -Iron Man because he has a billion dollars

2) Favorite Olympic sport?
   -Figure Skating

3) Favorite Disney Movie?

4) Favorite Food?
   -Two year old French cheeses

5) Favorite Dr. Seuss book?
   -One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

6) Favoite part about being in the Seuss cast?
   -Being part of a great team of girls and boy(s)

1) Favorite Superhero and why?
   -Cat Woman because she is cool

2) Favorite Olympic Sport?
   -Gymnastics with Gabby Douglass

3) Favorite Disney Movie?

4) Favorite food?

5) Favorite Dr. Seuss book?
   -Green Eggs and Ham

6) Favorite part about being in the Seuss cast?
   -Because I love to dance and i love being in front of an   

1) Favorite Superhero?
   -Gabby Douglass 
2) Favorite Olympic Sport?
   -Gymnastics and ice skating

3) Favorite Disney movie?
   -Princess Protection Program

4) Favorite food?

5) Favorite Dr. Seuss book?
   - I Can Read with my Eyes Shut

6) Favorite part about being in the Seuss cast?
   - Learning the songs together!

1) Who is your favorite superhero and why?
   -My mom (Ms. Kay) because everyone respects her

2) Favorite Olympic Sport?

3) Favorite Disney Movie?

4) Favorite food?

5) Favorite Dr. Seuss book?
   -Green Eggs and Ham

6) Favorite part about being in the Seuss cast?
   -Facing my fears and hanging out with people that my mom loves. 

Please come out and support the talents of our wonderful ensemble this Wednesday at Mamma Lucia's!

Hope to see you all there!

Sounding Off,

Julianne Berg, Children's Director

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sense and Nonsense

"Anarchy, linguistic or otherwise, flourishes alongside another, equally pronounced strain in Seuss' work," writes A. O. Scott of The New York Times Magazine, "not of preachiness, exactly, but of unabashed moral seriousness."

Dr. Seuss was a follower of contemporary nonsense authors, including Lewis Carroll and P.L. Travers. Yet, his whimsical vocabulary and imaginary characters produced themes that mirrored his liberal political views during the mid 20th century.

Choreographing "Biggest Blame Fool" this evening, the cast of Seussical examined the philosophical tension between liberty and anarchy within society, a central theme of Horton Hears a Who.

To quote Scott further:

"The genius of Dr. Seuss's early books lies in how closely attuned they are to this tension -- how they delight in the liberties of the imagination without quite condoning anarchy. The author seems simply to have intuited an essential aspect of the developing psyche: as much as children long to wriggle free of adult control, they depend on grown-up guidance. Who else, after all, will read books to them? Literally, children are led on these voyages by a parent's voice, and often embark on them from the comfort of a parent's lap. The success of the trip depends on the strength of the tether that anchors them to the prosaic security of the everyday world."

Children of the modern era face this tension in more ways than even Dr. Seuss could imagine. The growth of technology has created an unprecedented opportunity for individuals to express their liberties,  most commonly on social media sites. Anarchy ensues when cyber-bullying triumphs. 

HCSMT's production of Seussical will present Seuss' themes for a 21st century audience. "Biggest Blame Fool" will reflect on the delicate balance between liberty and anarchy through the use of dance, acting, costumes, and multi-media. What would Horton tweet? Would the Sour Kangaroo rant on her Facebook status?

Source: A.O. Scott, "Sense and Nonsense." The New York Magazine. 26 November 2000.