Keystone Oaks School District News Article

KOMS presents Seussical

Just last week, Keystone Oaks’ Middle School unfolded their carefully planned, rigorously rehearsed, and perfectly portrayed musical, consisting of nearly all of Dr. Seuss’ own stories, called Seussical, and was directed by history teacher Shane Hallam. Fan favorites such as The Cat in the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas came to life as the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders acted and sang the children’s musical drama.
The plot is based on the classic Horton Hears a Who, but also draws from other imaginative stories of Dr. Seuss, most noticeably The Cat In The Hat. The story begins when the protagonist, a young and inspiringly creative boy named Jojo, and played by Faith Boyle, discovers the Cat’s famous red and white hat, describing it as interesting and relating it to ideas within his imagination. The Cat, played by Jess LaPorte, joins him on stage and seems astounded at the boy’s creative side. The two then embark on a third-person journey into the world of Seuss, however remaining within the realm of Horton’s Jungle of Nool. They watch as Horton fights to save the threatened and quite frankly terrified people of Whoville that reside on the small speck of dust, which takes refuge on a small pink clover. Through many struggles, hardships, and interesting plot twists, Jojo becomes involved and proves that there indeed is a tiny world living on the clover by yelling a newly and perfectly imaginative word, “Yopp!”
The two performances were held on the 19th and 20th of November, each at 7:30pm, and altogether gathered hundreds of interested theatergoers to the auditorium to see the show. Older attendees were treated to a “blast from the past,” as their childhoods were reprised in the form of actors singing and prancing on stage, while the younger crowd built onto their childhood memories; many, in fact, asked for photos with the fan favorites of Seuss’ own figments.
The outstanding music, while not played live, was written by Dormont’s own Stephen Flaherty. The soundtrack was accompanied by the perfect mix of middle school actors who sang along to songs like “Oh the Thinks You Can Think”, “Anything’s Possible”, “Biggest Blame Fool”, and “Green Eggs and Ham”.
The performance, however, would not have been able to be such a success without the help and assistance of the group of student production days and of course, the stage crew. Senior, and Vice President of the Stage, Crew Brody Hay shared his opinion.
“Everyone did a great job. We didn’t have many problems, and everything seemed to go smoothly. It was a great show.”
Mr. Hallam commented on the student production staff, consisting of Hayley Anderson, Abby Wockenfuss, Zach McKay, Jarod Cheslar, Kevin McLaughlin, and Dave Yantz.
“Preparing for any musical takes a lot of work! Bringing together the movement on stage, the singing, dancing, costumes, lights, sound, and set together all takes a lot of work from myself, the performers, and the high school student production staff. It takes a lot of organization to make sure each scene is done and done well while saving enough time to practice the show over and over again.”
The cast worked vigorously in the months leading up to opening night, staying after school to rehearse their lines and work their vocals. Altogether, the cast seemed contrite with their performance, definitely put on the perfect, enjoyable, and timeless show. Hallam agreed with this statement.
“I thought it went really well! Many of the young performers broke out of their shells to create a beautiful and touching musical. It is very difficult for Middle School age students to perform music and characters created for professionals, but they did a wonderful job!”

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