‘Seussical’ opens Thursday, July 19

Published 6:16 pm Monday, July 16, 2012

Alexander Harrelson (left) as JoJo, the son of the Whoville Mayor, and Matthew Alexander as the Cat in the Hat. (photo by Lorin Browning)

The temperature is not the only thing expected to be hot this summer.

This year’s summer youth show, Grammy Awards-nominated Broadway hit “Seussical: The Musical,” by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, promises to sizzle, too.

The Sour Kangaroo (Chelsea McCoyle) and Young Kangaroo (Alexia Farrell) (photos by Lorin Browning)

Based on several of Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s books, such as “Horton Hears a Who!,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “Green Eggs and Ham,” the show has proven to be popular with school, community and regional theater venues.

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Staged by Tryon Little Theater (TLT) in cooperation with the Tryon Youth Center, the musical will run July 19-22 at the Tryon Fine Arts Center.
The summer youth show program was started in 1970 by the Tryon Youth Center to increase summer activities for middle and high school as well as college students who were out of school and not working.

“The summer shows are offered to give our young people the opportunity to learn stage craft, self-confidence in public speaking, learning to work with a varied age range of youth, and have fun in the summer,” said Tryon resident and TLT volunteer Betty Brewer, who has directed several youth shows since they began.

Participants learn the value of teamwork and camaraderie as they build self-confidence memorizing their lines, learning music and assisting with set building and anything else that is needed for the show to take place. They often meet people of all ages and from various walks of life, giving them an opportunity to learn how to accommodate others who may be different from them.

According to this year’s director, Jenna Tamisiea, the involvement in the arts has also statistically been proven to improve test scores and participation in school.

“In what other activity can you learn discipline and team work, strengthen your mind and body, make long-lasting friends, create art and inspire hundreds of people in one setting?” asked Tamisiea.

A newcomer to the summer youth show, Tamisiea said the production team is one of the best she has worked with as a professional director and the kids are disciplined, talented and hard working.