Repertory Philippines’ Seussical: Musical for children and children at heart

by Nickie Wang

We are aware that it is a challenge to convince a very young audience to sit through a whole performance without them getting bored. Children have the propensity to be fidgety or become noisy and rowdy if the production is not suitable for them.

To get a young audience’s attention, the actors should exert more energy, they have to be more animated in their movements and facial expressions. Magical and moving set pieces also help to get the young audience’s eyes glued on the stage.

Is there a best age for young children to be exposed to theater and stage plays? Actually it all depends on the material and on the attitude of the actors playing the roles in a show. Hence, the real question should be, will a kid stay engaged for the length of the show or will he just wonder why the curtain goes up and down after some elaborate movements onstage?

Though some people find children’s theater an expensive experience for young kids, there are also parents who recognize the importance of nurturing their kids’ mental and social development by exposing them to musicals that teach good values and lessons on loyalty, love and kindness (all the best things that we could think of).

“If the children are noisy, it’s not their fault. It’s the responsibility of the actors to make them understand what they’re doing or saying, or singing. It’s quite a difficult task. But that’s the beauty of theater, we need to make everything looks fun and easy even if they are difficult to do,” Joy Vitara, Repertory Philippines’ Children’s Theater artistic director, told the Standard Today.

Virata added that young kids who are brought up to appreciate theater or those who are exposed to the fine art of live stage performance they develop to be imaginative and creative adults.

“It has been proven through research. And apart from that, if they are exposed in theater at a very young age it will be more likely for them to attend theater shows in the future and appreciate arts in general,” Virata affirmed.

Oliver Roxas, a former Repertory Philippines actor who now resides in the United Kingdom, has created an artistic set and colorful character costumes that will introduce children to the works of Vincent Van Gogh. The intricate set pieces and stage design are specially created to bring the characters created by Dr. Theodor Seuss Giesel back into life.

The Cat in the Hat, one of the fun-loving heroes created by Dr. Seuss and beloved of children all over the world, will appear onstage in Seussical—Theatre for Young Audiences, a musical that will run from Aug. 13 until Dec. 18 at Onstage in Greenbelt 1.

Seussical features characters such as Horton, the kind hearted elephant, who one day hears voices coming from a speck of dust. He soon discovers that within this tiny speck exists the smallest planet in the universe. And upon this tiny planet lives a tiny creature named Jojo. Although ridiculed by the other animals in the Jungle of Nool for believing in something he cannot see, Horton stubbornly persists in his belief that the Whos exist.

Based on the beloved characters and stories of Dr. Seuss, this musical incorporates elements from at least 15 Dr. Seuss books and includes appearances by many of his most famous characters like The Cat in the Hat, Mayzie La Bird, Gertrude, and the Sour Kangaroo, no name a few.

“In this musical, the animals are not costumed as animals because the authors wanted them to appear as real people at heart just like us. We hope the children and the children at heart will enjoy it and subliminally learn its lessons of friendship, loyalty, love and concern for all,” Virata ended.

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