MOSAIC Spring 2016 - Page 23

The cast members of the musical Seussical performed three shows in Sacred Heart’s vintage 500-seat auditorium to nearcapacity crowds. The seminarians use the freewill audience donations to fund future spring performances. The Cat in the Hat Comes to the Seminary Seminarians stage Seussical, the seventh production since revival of theater program in 2010. “P utting on a play is a huge endeavor,” explains Matthew Hood, third-year theologian from the Archdiocese of Detroit. “Not just because we are all full-time students, but because of all the different aspects that go into making a show successful—set design, costumes, music, acting, and many, many rehearsals.” In spite of the time pressures, the seminarians, under the direction of Matthew, pulled off another outstanding theatrical endeavor, staging the musical Seussical on Friday evening, April 1, with two shows on Saturday, April 2. An estimated 1,200 people—including many delighted children—attended the colorful, whimsical production based on the much-loved stories of Theodore Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. Thirty-five seminarians contributed their talents to the musical about the imaginary town of Who-ville and the adventures of Horton the Elephant, the little boy Jojo, the Cat in the Hat, and other endearing characters. Seminarians performed all of the parts except Gertrude McFuzz (Grace Knoche) and Amayzing Mayzie (Katie Crombe). Seminarians designed and constructed the sets, played some of the musical instruments, and worked as backstage crew and ushers. “As the director, my job is to look at all of these dimensions and put them all together,” Matthew says. “It is really amazing watching guys who have never been on stage, never worked on a set, to do it for the first time.” Seussical is Matthew’s second occasion as director, including last year’s production of Camelot. He had worked as assistant director going back to the seminarians’ staging of 12 Angry Men in 2010, the year the theater program was resurrected after a twentyyear intermission. Winona theologian Matthew Wagner served for his first time this year as assistant director. Joseph Campbell (Theology III, Lansing) believes that staging yearly plays fits well with the goals of Sacred Heart’s priestly formation program. “Most of all, with the guys being comfortable getting out in front of people, especially with the emphasis on homiletics [preaching],” says Joe, who was one of Seussical’s narrators. “It’s good getting used to being in a public role. That is going to be a big part of our lives from here on out.” “In a show like Seussical, with so many big characters, it really pushed us to the limit,” Matthew says. “But every year we are surprised at the level of creativity and talent we have with the seminarians. “It was a lot of fun to put it on—for everybody.” 21