Monroe Middle School presents Seussical Jr…

The only photo I was allowed to take.

“Oh, the thinks you can think…”

What I thought I was going to see when I walked into the theatre at Monroe Middle School was a fun show with kids who were just having fun.  They would be hams on stage, but not honestly playing the part.

“When you think about Seuss..”

What I got was a treat.  I was a little apprehensive as I waited for the show to start because the tech desk was in the middle of the auditorium.  There were so many people walking by that I worried about the wires since I knew that everything from sound to lights to music were all sitting on top of that table.  So when the lights when down, I drew a deep breath and hoped for the best.

After the required “No photography” and “Turn off your phones” speeches by Director Paul Sawyer, the focus shifted to the trademark red and white striped hat that was downstage center.  From there, the show took off with Jojo and The Cat who lead into the story of “Horton Hears A Who.”  Ryan Mohs as Horton may not have been the size of an elephant, but he truly had the heart of that lovable character.  I loved that the ears he wore were wickedly floppy, but I don’t think they were big enough.

Gertrude McFuzz the bird that had the sad single feather tail was played by Gwyneth Forrester.  Just so y’all knows, this girl is FIERCE!!!  I love that she delved into her role and was in character every single moment she was on stage.  Not only was her character well done, she could sing.  She projected well and the mic issues that affected some of the other people were no problem for her.  She’s gonna go far if she pursues a career in The Arts.

Not to be outdone by her sister, Audrey Forrester who played little Jojo, likewise added depth of character, vocal ability, and stage presence to the show.  She was adorably vulnerable yet hopeful that they would be saved by Horton.

The Wickershams (Chris Clausen, Austin Nedved, Bailey Nedved, Siena Trent, Skylin Wellbrock, and Wilson Skjerven) had some great choreography with TONS of personality.

Other notable mentions: Katie Bieber as Yertle The Turtle had some pipes! Sadly, part of her scene had some mic problems. Mayzie LaBird, once her mic was fixed, was able to be the diva that she is!  The 3 bird girls were so sassy!!!  As was the Sour Kangaroo, Elise Bankosh.

The whole show moved at a quick clip and it only felt like the first act only seemed to last a half hour.  Aside from the few mic issues, the spot op needs to have a steadier grip on the light.

There are so many wonderful moments in this show that most people walked out with huge smiles on their faces, as did I.

These young performers are the future of the theatre scene and it’s pretty cool to see what the future holds.

Seussical Jr. plays for 3 more shows.  Friday and Saturday night 3/9-10/12 at 7PM and Saturday 3/10/12 at 1PM

You can find more info at the end of THIS blog post!  Go see this show. It’s a lot of fun, some great harmonies, and a ton of happy kids.

14 thoughts on “Monroe Middle School presents Seussical Jr…

  1. While I agree that the play was executed nicely, I was disappointed to see that the play focused on few kids out of the 42 kids. It is unfortunate that most of the kids were there to fill the stage. When I registered my child. I expected to see more from kids individually instead of having 5 kids carry the whole show. I felt that if my child didn’t make it to the show, she/he won’t have been missed…

    While people walked with great smiles, I walked out heart broken, angry, disappointed.
    I came to the play to see my child and other children, I hardly saw my child on the stage.
    My child was in previous plays, but did have a better role and individual lines.

    No more plays for us until all the kids get equal opportunity.

    A very disappointed parent.


    1. Dear Disappointed Parent,
      I am so sorry that you feel that way. I have to admit, there have been times when I’ve been cast in the ensemble and I wondered if it was worth it to be there. After thinking about it, I realized that it was worth it. I have made friends that I wouldn’t otherwise have met. I’ve shared in laughs that I might have missed.
      My question to you is: did your child have fun participating in the show? I truly hope they did.
      The hardest thing about theatre is the uncertainty of casting and what the director is looking for.
      I completely understand being disappointed because of the investment and commitment that it took to get this show off the ground, though don’t get me wrong.
      Again, I feel bad that you left disappointed, but I do hope that you continue to support the Arts in you community.
      Kindest regards,


    2. Oh this is just stupid. As a friend of a friend of a family that worked on this show, I can tell ya that more than just five kids were highlighted in this show. Even the chorus was up there a bunch. Quit being a stage mom and enjoy the fact that YOUR KID was up there, having a good time and probably learned a lot. Crappy of you to post this on a glowing review of a very well-done show made by a school that still supports drama. Shame on you.


      1. Dear Drama Mama,
        While I value everyone’s opinion, I do ask that all posts are respectful of the feelings and opinions of others. This could be a great way to create a dialogue and talk about casting, director’s role, and experience.
        While I agree that it’s really all about the experience of the child, I do have to say that wording your reply in this manner makes it feel more like an attack than a conversation and I don’t agree with that.
        If there is one thing that I would never like to do is to censor another person’s feelings. So please let’s play nicely.


    3. My children have also been in many plays both with Monroe as well as CCTF , some with more speaking rolls as well. However, I do feel that the experience that in of itself is immesurable ! I trust that the directors understand the individual actors strengths and weakness and cast them to the best ability for the show as a whole. I have had two children participating in shows for a few years, and while neither one received large rolls, they were very content just to be a part of the process. The memories and relationships that they will carry with them forever is worth so much more. I have always felt that Jeff Risk, while there and now Paul Sawyer have done a fantastic job casting. The children who have lead rolls are certainly deserving of them!
      Neither one of my children have felt that they were ever shorted or that there was favoritism in any of the shows, they too felt that the leads were perfect.
      That being said, I hope that the dissapointed parent can help their child understand the importance of an expericence and the bonding the theater brings. Is it really your child that is dissapointed of the parent? what you express can sometimes lead to a child feeling as if they are not worthy, so be careful and teach them that to be a part of something magical is far better then not because you didnt get exactly what you hoped for, embrace the joy and the memories!


      1. Dear Proud Parent,
        Thank you for your response!! I am glad that you and your children enjoyed the production!! I had to go straight home and listen to the Broadway cast recording because it was so catchy and fun.
        Your comment brought up a great point that I, having no children, would have considered. Often times, kids are always paying attention to things people say even when we think they aren’t. I didn’t realize the kind of influence that has. Thank you.
        Cheers to you and your children AND Theatre!



  2. I have done many CMT shows where I am on for one number….. It is not about stage time it is about the people you meet and the fun you have no Nader how much time you child gets on stage it is fun …… And he/she will be happy if you are happy …. I think Annie says it best “your never fully dressed without a smile. 🙂


      1. Hello Mr. Jery,
        Thank you for your reply.
        Happy student I am so happy for you:).
        The main characters did great and I am sure that their parents are proud of them.
        My child enjoyed the play till the director decided to pay special tribute to the 8th graders after the final show. My child started thinking as I have been thinking; I never expressed my feelings to my child, but my child finally realized that her role wasn’t important. So now, her heart is broken.
        The reality is that this play is our last play. I feel that my hard earned money went to support the other kids not mine and that wasn’t my intention.
        My heart ached after each show and tonight was no different. I just have so much anger inside me. Aghhhhhh


  3. Dear Disappointed Parent,
    I wonder if the 8th grader tribute is because now those kids aren’t eligible to participate in these shows any longer. In a sense, it’s kind of like a “graduation” for them.
    While it’s true that this event, the tribute, had nothing to do with your child (if he or she weren’t in 8th Grade) it doesn’t diminish your child’s performance.
    I don’t know a single child, personally, in the production, but seeing all those unique and wonderful smiles are what made the show so great. I looked at every single person on that stage every time they were on the stage. I noticed everyone. I may not know names, but I looked at all those cheery faces, and couldn’t help but to smile.
    I hope your child can realize whether he or she knows it, someone is always watching. That’s a great lesson in theatre. Someone is always watching you so you have to try your best every time.
    I always say that everyone should honor their feelings, and I am glad that you expressed them. I just hope that both of you know this was not a wasted experience.



    1. Drama Mama, thank you for the very constructive criticism…

      I really thought that I was wrong in my feelings until I heard opinions from different parents. Some of these parents were involved in the play while the others were audience. I have said that the show was done nicely, and those kids who had meaningful roles did shine. But, for me, I feel that my child’s role was to fill in the stage. My child would have missed the play and the play would have continued. Yes, I would have loved if my child had lines to be heard. My child never missed a rehearsal and enjoyed it, but at the end realized that she/he was a nobody there. And yes, it still aches my heart and wish that my child was more involved.

      Mr. Jery, I did ask around about the 8th graders, and you are right :).


  4. For what it’s worth the mention of the 8th graders was at one of the four shows & this is a tradition at Monroe – this is my 5th year as a Monroe parent and every year the 8th graders get one special bow – my 8th grader had a very small part her 8th grade year and yet she enjoyed that bow like the rest of her class – even the ones that had the leads. Sour grapes don’t always make a fine wine.


  5. dear disapointed parent, yes the final 8th grade bow is a right of passage! It is very moving to watch in the audience, however it is even more emotional backstage. these children are in tears as they realize that the 4 years they spent together are coming to an end. Most of these kids go on to different schools.and they realize they will most likely not see each other again.
    I wonder, when the role your child would play in the production was handed out, before the money was paid, why did you not pull your child out at that point? Surely , you both realized that it was not a leading role, yet you chose to stay? perhaps it was because your child wanted to be a part of their school production?
    Please stop all the negative thoughts and ranting, it is so hard to believe that you are really that angry. I asked my son if he knew of anyone that was seemingly unhappy with their part of the play, and he said that he bever saw or heard of anybody unhappy and that the general attitude was very uplifting. If tyour child was that unhappy , it would have been hard to hide. Maybe they are too afraid to tell you becuase your expectations are too high, and the just dont want to disapoint you anymore.
    This truly appears that the one that is most upset is you , and that you are focusing so much on your anger that you are misssing out on the sinple joy these kids have. please rethink before you speak.

    Proud Parent


  6. The 8th grade tribute is a tradition dating back many years and it is not meant to diminish anyone in the cast. It is indeed a final tribute to kids who have perhaps been in productions all four years of their middle school careers and are now, as stated in an earlier post, ineligible.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s