Community School brings ‘Seuss!’ to life at the Wheeler
If You Go …
What: “Seuss!” presented by Aspen Community School
Where: Wheeler Opera House
When: Tonight, 7 p.m.
The beloved 33-year-old local tradition of the Aspen Community School’s all-school play continues with a run of the original musical “Seuss!” at the Wheeler Opera House.
Performed by 143 students (from preschool to 8th grade) and based on the works of Dr. Seuss, it opened April 30 and returns Friday, May 1.
The cast includes all 127 students from the Woody Creek charter school and 16 from its sister preschool, the Early Childhood Center.
Written and directed by Community School language arts teacher Garry Pfaffmann, the musical includes plotlines that traverse the full spectrum of titles by the prolific author and cartoonist, from beginning reader books like “One Fish, Two Fish,” to more complex social commentary stories such as “The Lorax” and “The Sneeches.”
The story begins as an uninspired middle school student takes a walk down Mulberry Street, and transforms the stage into the world of Whoville. Along the way, the author, “Ted” (aka Theodor Seuss Geisel), reflects on his leap into writing children’s books, ponders his inspirations and frustrations, and introduces the audience to some of the world’s most beloved characters. The Cat in the Hat, the Grinch and Horton make appearances alongside new creations, like Ted, whose narration threads through the entire musical.
Teachers, staff, students and alumni collaborated on bringing “Seuss!” to the stage – working together to create the music, script, costumes and sets from scratch. In addition to direction by Pfaffmann, the production features music direction by Stuart LaCroix, costumes by Hilary Forsyth and sets by Chris Faison. The six-member live band is made up of Community School teachers, alumni and parents while the set, lighting and sound crew is composed of students mentored by the Wheeler’s theater professionals.