Dr. Seuss on playbill for high school drama program

Sean C. Morgan

Sweet Home High School drama students will present three Dr. Seuss stories as plays this week.

“Mr. (Alain) Brown came to me and said that he didn’t know if we were going to have a spring play,” said student Director Kylie Johnson, a senior. Brown told her to look for scripts they could use.

The music and drama departments had been working on a musical, Brown said, but they weren’t able to pull it all together this spring.

Johnson approached him about doing a spring play, Brown said. Whatever they did, it would have to be a simple play.

“She had this in mind,” Brown said. “The kids seem to be pretty enthusiastic about it.”

Johnson has taken the lead organizing and directing the play, he said.

“Kylie is getting a sense of what it takes to do a play.”

Down the road, as an adult, Brown predicted, Johnson will probably act in or direct plays.

Sweet Home’s elementary schools have been focusing on Dr. Seuss, Johnson said, as the community has participated in Read Across America in connection to Dr. Seuss’ birthday.

Johnson decided to produce her three favorites, “The Sneeches,” “The Zax,” and “The Cat in the Hat.”

“They’re the easiest ones to put on stage,” she said.

Despite not doing the musical, the drama students decided to include a musical number anyway. Under direction by senior Sophia Brown, they will perform “Alone in the Universe,” a song from the movie “Horton Hears a Who.”

“The kids were pretty bummed about not having the musical,” Brown said. They thought, “Why not offer the kids that are musical a chance to do a song.”

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Johnson said. “There’s been a lot of additions from the stage (the actors), a lot of places where we break the fourth wall.”

Breaking the fourth wall refers to a story that is aware of and addresses directly the story’s audience.

“It’s slapstick, but not ‘Three Stooges,’” Johnson said. “More like ‘I Love Lucy.’”

The plays have a lot of physicality, she said. “This is going to be hilarious, and children should come – children of all ages.”

The cast will have treats for children following the play.

SHHS will present the plays at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 11 and May 12, in the SHHS Auditorium.

Cost is $3 for adults, $2 for students and seniors and $8 for families.

Cast and crew members are Abby Stone, backstage; Shane Kersey, Sylvester McMonkey McBean and Machine; Sydney Holley, a plain sneetch and Sally; Kylie Johnson, director and narrator; Alyssa “Al” Hartley-Davis, a star-bellied sneetch and Thing 2; Sophia Brown, a star-bellied sneetch and Fish; Melissa Evans, a star-bellied sneetch and Machine; Rebekah Woody, a star-bellied sneetch and Thing 1; Corbitt Sanders, a star-bellied sneetch and the Cat in the Hat; Brandon Matthews, a plain-bellied sneetch, Nick and a zax; Jackson Musgrove, Horton; Holly Lester, Jojo; Braden Greene, piano player; Bailey Wicker, backstage; Jenna Peden Higgins, a plain-bellied sneetch and Mom; Annalee McIntosh, a star-bellied sneetch, machine and a zax.

Kris Ceccato, of Staccato Entertainment Solutions, is providing lighting, which will be operated by Hunter Olheiser.