By Jaci Schneider, Copy Editor
Actors in the Homecoming musical have been cramming for weeks, but their study material is unusual for college students: Dr. Seuss books.
And their final test isn’t really a typical exam; it’s a musical: Seussical the Musical.
Students in the Theatre Department have been rehearsing for the musical since the first week of school, when Adam Hester, chair of the department, announced that Seussical would replace Aida as the Homecoming musical.
The department changed the musical this summer after controversy erupted about the casting of a white actress for the lead role of an African woman in Aida.
However, Hester said in an e-mail, that since the new musical was announced, the controversy has died down, and the cast of Seussical has been busy rehearsing.
Although the directors and cast lost several months of planning and rehearsals with the changes of musicals, Hester said everything is on track and rehearsals are going well.
The main drawback of the late change was the loss in research and development, he said; actors had less time to develop characters, designers had less time to plan scenery and costume changes and directors had less time to make casting choices.
“We feel we have overcome those obstacles and have chosen an exciting play that has been so much fun to do,” Hester said.
Hester said fitting everything in before Homecoming was a “scheduling challenge,” and actors rehearse six days and 26 hours a week.
While the actors wait for their entrances, Hester said they read the nearly 20 Dr. Seuss books that he brings to rehearsals.
“They’re in love with the show, the music and the themes that run through it,” Hester said. “We’re reminded what big things Dr. Seuss had to say to us as children and adults.”
The sets and costumes for the musical will reflect Dr. Seuss’ books in their imaginativeness and will be very colorful, Hester said.
Ticket sales for the musical are lower than usual, Hester said. He attributes the drop to a lack of advertising in ACU Today during the summer because the magazine was not published. Hester said the department recently began mailing out cards and running TV ads for the show.
“We expect a significant jump in sales in the near future,” Hester said.