1214 Foundation To Stage "Seussical: The Musical" This Summer; Auditions Begin June 22

Seussical: The Musical, one of Broadway’s most joyous musicals, written by the Tony Award-winning team of Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, will be presented at the Newtown High School this summer. The playwrights have reportedly “expressed their joy that this musical has been selected as the inaugural production of the 1214 Foundation,” according to a press release from the foundation.

The three main forces behind “From Broadway With Love: A Benefit Concert for Sandy Hook,” which took place on January 28 at the Palace Theatre in Waterbury, will reprise their roles on this production. Michael Unger will direct, Jeffrey Saver will serve as musical director, and Tony Award-winning producer Van Dean will executive produce.

Jennifer Paulson Lee will join them to choreograph. Other established theater professionals will complete the creative team.

Ms Ahrens and Mr Flaherty and several Broadway performers plan to visit some of the rehearsals and performances.

There will also be many volunteer opportunities for parents and adults in and around the Newtown community who may want to get involved, as well as opportunities for student and adult musicians to join the orchestra. Auditions will be held at Dance, Etc., 117 Mt. Pleasant Road in Newtown, Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23, and Saturday, June 29, with callbacks on Sunday, June 30. The production expects to cast 60-80 students from the Newtown area between the ages of 5 and 18.

Auditions are by appointment and must be scheduled through the foundation’s website.

Rehearsals will begin Monday, July 8. Rehearsals will be held Mondays through Saturdays during the day, although older performers in principal roles will be rehearsing more often than younger cast members. As of Monday August 5, however, the full cast will be required for all rehearsals.

The rehearsal process will emulate a professional production with children working alongside New York professionals to give kids a Broadway-type experience. The production will work as hard as possible to accommodate schedule conflicts which are known in advance, but certain extended conflicts may prohibit involvement.

There will be two full casts, with two performances each.

Performances will be Friday and Saturday, August 9-10, at 7 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, August 10-11, at 2 pm.

In addition to the student performers, this production of Seussical will offer nearly 20 apprenticeship positions to junior and senior high school students in the fields of direction, choreography, musical direction, stage management, stage crew, lighting design, prop construction, costume design and construction, sound design, and technical direction.

Musicians as well as student and adult volunteers can also register by visiting the website.

Performances will take place at Newtown High School. (This production is not affiliated with the Newtown school district, however.)

The 1214 Foundation was founded by Michael Baroody, MD, a plastic surgeon and resident of Newtown. The board includes Richard Pilbrow,  Frederick Holahan, Richard Ticktin and Michael Price.

The foundation’s vision is to build The Newtown Performing Arts Center as a living remembrance of the events of 12/14 with a focus on hope for the future. This haven of the arts will be inter-disciplinary in nature, offering programming in theatre, music, dance, opera and fine arts. More information can be found at www.1214foundation.org.

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