On June 17 and 18, St Matthews students performed the hit musical, Seussical, to sell-out crowds. Students from Years 5 to 11 dazzled audiences with their joyful and energetic performance.
Seussical, by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, is a quirky musical that combines well-loved characters from more than fifteen Dr. Seuss books into one whimsical tale. It was no small undertaking as the creatively complex narrative required a large production team to bring the colourful world of Seuss to life on stage.
Principal, Angela Myles, stated that "Seussical the Musical was a wonderful event showcasing the amazing talents of so many students and staff at St Matthews. It was a fabulous way to bring our community together and a real credit to the hard work of everyone who was involved. I am so proud to be part of a community who can bring something like this together with such energy and professionalism. It was a genuine team effort and an absolute joy to watch."
2022 marks the end of an era for the St Matthews Catholic School combined campus on Lewis Street, Mudgee. The significance of this moment sparked the idea for a celebratory whole school musical before the school divides into two sites. Seussical was the perfect choice to allow students across Primary and Secondary to collaborate through a joint love of Seuss' rhythmical texts and unique visual style.
Jessica Nipperess, who played The Cat in the Hat enjoyed working with students of varying ages.
"It brought all of the creative, artistic, talented kids in the school together and built a community of people who were otherwise unconnected. Belonging to that community is a beautiful thing. Any time I walked backstage, I was overwhelmed by how supporting and caring everyone was," Jessica said.
Producer, Lauren Osborn, knows all too well that this production has been in the pipeline for a long time, with auditions and casting happening during 2021.
"We were left in limbo in early 2022 with Covid restrictions and struggled to keep the cast enthusiastic. I am so glad our CAPA department dream has finally come to fruition," Lauren said.
Ella Clift who played Gertrude McFuzz enjoyed "watching the show slowly come together; from singing our first number to taking our final bows" and Murray Freebody who played Horton the Elephant found the whole cast and crew "so helpful and supportive. It was amazing."
Directors, Tegan Aitkin and Kirsty Skinner, were thrilled to have an opportunity to expose students to an ensemble experience. "We are strong advocates for the transformative impact of an arts-rich education on students' learning, social and emotional wellbeing," Tegan said.
Musical Director, Cecilia Swift, commented that the musical score was full of quite complex melodies and harmonies.
"I was blown away by the determination of our cast to learn and master their vocal parts. Not only did they deliver these musically, they made it look easy. The excitement with which the whole cast approached the musical was inspiring, from our very first full cast rehearsal to the clean up the day after the final show. I can't wait to work with these talented students again in the future," she said.
"You'll never be bored when you try something new. There's really no limit to what you can do!" - Dr Seuss
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