by Lisa Tome
Rising Sun Middle School has never hosted its own school play.
There's a first time for everything.
And they aren't kicking back and easing into things. When the play takes to the stage in a few weeks, it's a full blown music and dance show with a host of characters. "Seussical Jr." is underway.
School staffers Jenn Fox and Jen Stemple are serving as directors. Suzette Burgess is directing the music. Heather Bounds, a student at Rising Sun High, is serving as choreography director. Bounds is being assisted by student Dacota Snyder. All three of the school's administrators are making appearances.
"There are a lot of creative students here. They have music, dance, and acting talent. We want to showcase their abilities and give them a chance to interact with their peers with similar interests," said Fox.
Burgess chose "Seussical Jr." Fox described it as "a compilation of Dr. Seuss' best loved books." Auditions were held in January, and since that time, students have been working three days a week at rehearsals.
"It's almost entirely music. There is very little speaking. That was a challenge, since it's all music," said Fox. The show also features many animal characters, the people of Whoville, and more. Fox said there have been some challenges. RSMS doesn't have costumes or sound equipment. The school's theater is a gym. They've made or borrowed some costumes and are using sound equipment from Rising Sun High. "Tess Garrett (at Rising Sun High School) has been a big help with the technical stuff. The community has also helped us," said Fox.
Jessica Drill is a seventh grader and one of the performers. "It's a lot of fun working on the music and acting it out, bringing a character to life," said Drill. "But it's exhausting. I take a drama class and a dance class outside of school. And with homework, that's a lot. But it's a lot of fun. You can tell this is going to be something good. Everyone is so amazing," said Drill.
The show takes to the stage on Friday, April 29 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 30 at 3 p.m. in the Rising Sun Middle School gymnasium. Doors open approximately 30 minutes before show time. Ticket cost is $8 for adults, $5 for CCPS students and staff and children under age 5. Tickets may be purchased at the door, at the school office, or online at www.rsmsmd.booktix.com/
The cast of "Seussical Jr.":
Cat in the Hat - Molly Raser, Horton - Ryan Lambert, Gertrude McFuzz - Alyssa Howell, JoJo - Indigo Garvin, Sour Kangaroo - Lauren Stemple, Young Kangaroo - Ashley Moran, Mayzie - Taylor Rapposelli
Bird Girls - Faith Brooks, Julia Forsmark, Katie Gibson, Victoria Hartnett, Leah Hash, Sam Robertshaw, Sydney Robertshaw
Wickershams - Alexis Brewer, Grace Harkey, Drake Morales
Mr. Mayor - Robbie Wishart
Mrs. Mayor - Madison Moran
Citizens of Whoville - Rayna Bare, Kaylyn Bogan, Ashley Fenwick, Katie McKinney, Jimmi Phan, Grace Rowe, Chase Reese, Ericka O'Brien, Payton Hayden
Jungle Citizens - Elizabeth Bower, Jessica Drill, and Dacota Snyder who is also a featured dancer
Thing 1 and Thing 2 - Abby Backert and Sydney Krummel
Yertle the Turtle - Tim Bower
Vlad Vladikoff - Travis Benner
Grinch - Anne Polakovic
Hunters - Rick Edwards and Jenn Hood
Rebecca DeBiase is stage manager and is being assisted by Sydney Krummel and Abby Backert. The rest of the stage crew includes: Ben Bagrowski, Lily Bagrowski, Samantha Berg, Sarah Cervantes, Kaleb Chaplin, Cheyenne Combs, Victoria Jackson, Brandon Lowinski, Deja Martinez, Nicholas Miller, Emily Nguyen, Kelly Nguyen, and Lilly Staccia