A&E

Dr. Seuss comes alive in Woodside June 1-4

Eighth-graders stage 'Seussical Jr.' in new Sellman Pavilion

Submitted by Sandy Cold Shapero, a Woodside Elementary operetta parent volunteer.

This is the 59th year of Woodside Elementary School operetta tradition, showcasing the hard work and talent of each eighth-grade class.

This year's production, "Seussical Jr.," running from June 1 through 4, will be the first to take place in the new Sellman Pavilion, named after George Sellman, who launched this musical legacy in 1957.

As eighth-graders have in the past, 41 students from the class of 2016 will perform a full-scale musical, complete with sets, sound, lights, costumes, and microphones. The operetta becomes the students' final farewell to a school many have attended for nine years or more.

The play brings together many of Dr. Seuss' characters in a story that explores themes of friendship, duty, isolation, equality and imagination. This production is for all ages, from preschooler to grandparents.

When the curtain rises June 1, the students will have worked on the show for nine weeks. Scores of additional hours have been poured into the production by parent volunteers, led by this year's parent producers, Jeanne Connolly and Doretta Bonner.

Middle school math teacher and theater professional Matt Waters is the school's director. This year's show reflects collaboration with the Portola Valley Theatre Conservatory, with stage direction and choreography from Lindsay Saier, assisted by Noelle GM Gibbs and Stacie Doherty, and music direction by Raf Ornes.

This year, the operetta stage set was built by eighth-grade parents using recycled and salvaged lumber. Pete Garratt, father of an eighth-grader and local inventor, supplied recycled Douglas fir from local homes and buildings that were being torn down.

The remainder of the wood came from fallen Douglas fir trees that had been part of a fuel reduction effort, and was milled by Garratt and his son, Connor, a Woodside eighth-grader. An exhibit showcasing the recycling/reuse story of the stage set will be on display in the Sellman Pavilion during the show.

Performance dates are Wednesday, June 1, at 5:30 p.m.; and Thursday through Saturday, June 2, 3 and 4, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $21.50 for adults and $11.50 for youth through 12th grade.

Go to seussicaloperetta.bpt.me to purchase tickets.

Click here for ticket ordering information.

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