HCT Summer Stars create merry music with ‘Seussical’

Hawaii Children’s Theatre has planned an ambitious summer season capped by performances of “Seussical, the Musical,” as the culmination of its four-week Summer Stars — Adventures on Broadway program.

Having originated on Broadway, “Seussical” has music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and Eric Idle, and is based on the works of Dr. Seuss.

The Children’s Theatre “Seussical” will differ from the Broadway variety: It is shorter and more focused than the Broadway version, announced the director in a press release.

“The characters are loved by all generations, and our production will be enjoyed by children and adults alike,” said Jennifer Downs.

All children are invited to join HCT Summer Stars performing arts program. The program’s top priority is instilling children and young adults with self-confidence and a sense of community.

“We strive to enrich the life of each student and, therefore, give each and every child the opportunity to shine,” said HCT President Debra Blachowiak in the press release.

The program costs $240 for tuition. Scholarships are available for any participant who qualifies.

Each day the students will explore various techniques used in theatre presentations.

Participants will take part in exercises designed to awaken and expand creative expression through improvisational theatre, creative dance, voice, stage combat, and mime.

Students will also be introduced to film acting on camera.

The 2006 program is broken down into two age categories offering opportunities to dance, act and sing.

Grades one through five will meet in the morning from 8 a.m. to noon. Grades six through high school will meet from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Summer Stars programs are run by experienced and educated performing arts professionals.

The final production of “Seussical, the Musical” features numbers like “Anything’s Possible” and “Alone in the Universe.”

Downs is enthusiastic about this leaner, meaner version, as being “heart-warming, family-oriented and celebrating the child.”

“That’s the beauty of Dr. Seuss: he was the first children’s author to speak to children at their level — rather than speaking down to them — while being incredibly respectful and creative,” Downs said.

Summer Stars has also planned a “Meet The Cast Lunch” prior to the July 14, 2 p.m. performance. The show will be preceded by a backstage tour, lunch and character make-up session.

Participants will have a chance to meet the actors and are encouraged to “dress for the occasion.” Tickets for this event will cost $20 and are limited.

The show is approximately 70 minutes in length and will be enjoyed by anyone, age 4 and up.

Go to www.hawaiichildrenstheatre.com or call 246-8985 for more information, to request a registration form or to purchase tickets.

Classes run June 19 to July 14. Performances will be July 14 and 15 at the Kauai Memorial Convention Hall. Classes are held at the HCT Studio in Puhi.

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