Robert Bateman Secondary stages first musical

"Seussical" teaches Abbotsford students love of theatre

Members of the cast of Robert Bateman's first musical

Members of the cast of Robert Bateman's first musical

Robert Bateman Secondary School is getting set to perform its first-ever musical, based on the stories of Dr. Seuss.

The musical, called “Seussical,” is part of a new class taught by drama teacher Jo-Ann Fernandes. The production is co-directed by Ray Dencer and choreographed by Jordan Allarie.

The course occurs outside of regular school hours and also requires students to dedicate their own time to rehearse. The course runs four times a week.

The actors have been practising since September.

The cast is comprised of 28 students from Grade 9 to 12. The accompaniment will be provided by about 12 music students led by music teacher Kris Werner. The technical crew is also composed of students.

“It’s a really student-oriented production.”

Fernandes said the new program is exciting because many of the students involved have never performed before. She hopes their hard work teaches them how difficult it is to put on a theatre production and gives them an appreciation for the stage.

“I hope it leaves them with a lifelong love of musical theatre.”

Fernandes said her students are enjoying the preparations so much, they are already getting excited for next year’s productions.

“They’re really excited. They are pioneers (of the program).”

The musical combines characters from various Dr. Seuss stories, including the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, the Grinch, and the Whos.

“It’s fun and lively… It’s great for people young and old.”

Public performances will be held at the Clarke Theatre in Mission on Feb. 28 at 7:30 p.m., March 1 at 7:30 p.m. and March 2 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and available at the office of Robert Bateman Secondary School or at the door.

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