BIBLE HILL – Some Bible Hill Junior High School students have learned more than just acting and singing for their upcoming musical.
Grade 8 and 9 students will perform Seussical The Musical on April 28, 30 and May 1 at the school. Grade 9 student Lauren Smith and Grade 8 student Dawson Gillis said they have learned a lot about themselves throughout the audition and rehearsal process of the musical, which revolves around a number of Dr. Seuss-created characters that interact through a person’s imagination.
“I have embraced who I am this year. I have learned I can be anything I want to be and it’s my time to shine,” said Smith, who portrays Mayzie La Bird, one of the lead roles in the musical.
“Being involved helps you find out the type of person you are and see what you are passionate about and who you are. I like writing so characters are a big thing for me … I’m really outgoing and I become Mayzie as soon as my cue comes on,” said Smith, who has done musicals since Grade 5.
Gillis is portraying Horton the elephant in the musical. It’s his first year acting and he was surprised he landed a lead role.
“People told me I have a nice voice but I wasn’t confident. All the people I spoke to said it was inevitable I’d get this role … but I never thought I’d get a lead role. It feels really
awesome,” said Gillis. “Normally I’m not outgoing so this (role) fits my character well and it’s easy for me to get into the character.”
Gillis said despite a few nerves – “you hope you
don’t mess up” – the experience has been amazing and he’s gained more self-confidence.
“It’s helped me grow by being on stage (and) I’ve learned if you know you love doing something you should keep going and be happy.”
“Sometimes people don’t want to try things, but if you are always worried about what people think you will miss so much. Don’t invest time in what doesn’t matter,” she advised.
Greg Reid, a Grade 8 English teacher at the school and the musical’s co-director, hopes the community will watch the musical.
“I hope for an appreciative audience because the kids have worked real hard and I’m so proud of them,” said Reid, adding the comedy is suitable for all ages.
“We have amazingly talented kids and I like to think we set the bar pretty high.”
If you go:
What: Seussical The Musical
Where: Bible Hill Junior High School
When: April 28, 30 and May 1 at 7 p.m.
Doors open: 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $8 for adults and $5 for students; tickets can be purchased at the door
Co-directors: Greg Reid and Norma Teed-Purdy
Number of students acting: 22
Number of students in the crew: About a dozen helping with makeup, props, sound, etc.