Kendall students bring Dr. Seuss tales to stage

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 11 March 2016 at 12:00 am

Photos by Kristina Gabalski
KENDALL – Abby Rice stars as The Cat in the Hat and Sarah Knapp is JoJo in the opening number of Seussical.

Tonight is opening night for Seussical, this year’s musical presentation at Kendall High School. This evening’s performance begins at 7 p.m. and performances on Saturday are set for 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. All performances are in the Jr./Sr. High School Auditorium. There will be additional activities for children at the afternoon performance on Saturday.

Sophomore Sarah Knapp plays JoJo, senior Abby Rice plays The Cat in the Hat and sophomore Caleb Henion plays Horton, the elephant, a part Caleb said he relishes.

“I love being Horton,” Caleb said. “He has a lot of powerful songs and I love singing loud. I get to fill the whole stage.”

This is Caleb’s fourth Studio K production through Kendall.

Members of the cast of Kendall High School’s production of Seussical perform “Oh the Thinks You Can Think.”

Horton and JoJo are characters with kindred spirits and Sarah Knapp says JoJo (a teenage resident of Who-ville) is trying to find his way.

“He’s a kid who doesn’t know what he’s doing,” she said. “He’s always getting into trouble.”

Eventually, however, JoJo finds acceptance because of his unique imagination. This is Sarah’s third Studio K production.

Senior Abby Rice has been in every Studio K production since seventh grade, but this year she has had to overcome a particularly difficult obstacle in taking a starring role in Seussical.

“I’m standing,” she said. “I had my knee replaced in December and I’m off my crutches.”

Abby said she is a cat person, which has helped in her role.

“It’s been a little bit difficult, but fun,” she said.

The three agree that the children’s stories of Dr. Seuss – on which the musical is based – transition well to the stage.

Tickets are available at the Kendall Jr./Sr. High School Main Office or at the door.

Seussical is directed by Michael Billotti (Drama) and Daniel Lauritzson (Music). Choreography is by Michael Billotti, Kierstyn Christensen, Michela Hanlon and Megan Hardenbrook.

Horton, played by Caleb Henion, is certain that he hears someone calling for help in “Horton Hears a Who.” Bird Girls and Jungle Animals look on.

Sarah Pearson portrays Mrs. Mayer and Ryan Barrett is Mr. Mayer in Kendall High School’s production of Seussical.

Michela Hanlon plays the Grinch.

Hanna Hofstra plays Gertrude, a bird who is trying to win the affection of Horton the Elephant.

Gertrude, played by Hanna Hofstra, listens while Mayzie, played by Morgan Reed, explains how she changed from a plain bird into “Amazing Mayzie.”