Culpeper is about to hear a Who.
The Windmore Foundation’s Summer Musical Camp presents Seussical Jr. at Verdun Adventurebound Saturday, June 15 at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Produced by Amanda Reck and directed by Mary Kidd Flemming, the musical stokes the love of the arts among the 23-member cast.
“It is phenomenal, everyone at Windmore truly cares about all of the arts and all the kids too,” Reck said. “If you don’t expose arts to the kids, there aren’t going to be any (arts) when they get older.”
Ranging in ages from 4-16, the cast performs original songs from Seussical while presenting a pair of classic Dr. Seuss stories.
“I love this story behind Seussical,” Flemming said. “Horton is the main character, he has the whole Who story living on the clover. That’s where ‘A Person is a Person, no matter how small’ comes in. He also is involved with Mayzie La Bird, who laid this egg but she doesn’t want to sit on it so he ends up sitting on there for 51 weeks. There’s two dual stories going on.”
It’s a challenging musical to learn quickly, but the cast has worked hard over the last two weeks to master the material.
“This musical is very different because it’s not broken down in the script by scenes,” Flemming said. “It’s constant music. There’s not much dialog that isn’t within the musical context. It’s just song after song after song, which is challenging and different.”
Flemming, the choir teacher at Floyd T. Binns Middle School, brought in some of her former students to help serve as director and choreographer. Her son Jake Flemming, a senior at Eastern View High School, serves as the student assistant director and EVHS senior Kirsten Ferlazzo serves as the student choreographer.
“She choreographed three songs on her own,” Flemming said. “She has been wonderful to have on board. She is a beautiful dancer and she’s very good with the kids.”
Hailey Reck, a sophomore at EVHS, created the scenic background and props.
“It’s really important to me to bring them into the process and encourage leadership,” Flemming said.
The musical is introduced by JoJo/Boy, played by 11-year-old Ava Falconer, a sixth grader at Culpeper Christian School.
“It feels really amazing to be in front of everybody,” Falconer said. “I just like to act and show everybody that you don’t have to be afraid to go up there.”
Maegen Kramb portrays Gertrude McFuzz, while Wyatt Clatterbaugh is Horton the Elephant. Reese Detwiler plays the Cat in the Hat and Tarran Loveday is Mayzie La Bird.
Loveday, 11, a 6th grader at Locust Grove Middle School, said she loves the opportunity to hone her craft in the summer.
“I love to be on stage,” Loveday said. “I really like how Mayzie La Bird is so into herself and outgoing and she’s the boss of everything. She wants this play to be all about her.”
Clatterbaugh, 14, a sophomore at EVHS, said performing with Windmore has helped him in school plays.
“I decided to do this because I’ve done the two previous ones before, I just think it’s a really fun experience,” Clatterbaugh said. “It gives you something to do in the summer. If you really like acting, it gives you a chance to shine and show your talents.”
Detwiler said she had to tap into her inner energy to portray the Cat in the Hat.
“He’s very energetic so I just have to be energetic,” Detwiler said. “It’s fun to do it, so I want to do it.”
Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6 to 18. Children 6 and younger are free. Tickets for immediate family are $15 (cast member and other families, e.g. mom, dad, and siblings that are all together). Rain date is Sunday, June 16. Tickets are available online at https://windmorefoundation.org/tickets-to-seussical-jr-saturday-june-15-2019/