Western Bradford Notebook: Building a 'Seussical' set in Troy
TROY - In the story of Cinderella, a pumpkin is turned into a carriage.
Now, in Troy, Cinderella's carriage has been transformed into something else: a brightly colored circus cart for the Troy Area High School Drama Club's spring musical, "Seussical," at Memorial Auditorium.
Recently, I talked with Sydney Blade, who is directing the musical, about all the work that has gone into building the set and set pieces for the production, based on the Dr. Seuss books. She graduated from Troy High School in 2008.
The carriage is from the drama club's 2011 production of Rodger's and Hammerstein's "classic" Cinderella.
To turn it into a circus cart for a circus scene in "Seussical," set designers/creators Jana Good, Dale Abbott, and Tyler Woodward painted it bright colors and installed some bars.
Sydney's mother, Michelle, the costume designer, is also finding new uses for old items for the musical.
She took a jacket that had been used for "Fiddler on the Roof" and attached some feathers to it to create the costume for the character of Vlad Vladikoff.
Michelle noted that she got some of the clothing for the costumes from Salvation Army stores in Towanda, Waverly, and Elmira, and made changes to them to create the costumes. There are a total of 40 costumes in the musical.
She said making the costumes is imaginative and fun.
"It's challenging because you have to not only take into account the personality of the student, but the character they become," she commented.
Sydney noted that art teacher Wayne Beeman is "Seussifying" the set, which she noted will have some three-dimensional aspects.
For example, a bath tub is needed for one of the scenes, so instead of just creating a flat panel showing an illustration of a bath tub, a real tub is being used.
The colorful, whimsical set is meant to be an immersive environment.
"It's more like being inside a book instead of looking at it," Sydney explained.
She noted that the set will have a lot of large set pieces.
"We have to make a map of where they will be on stage and where they will be off stage," she said. "It takes a lot of planning."
The Dr. Seuss characters, Things 1 and 2, played by Michael Blade and Megan Bolt, will be moving the set pieces around.
"A lot of times, they just cross the stage with a set piece in the middle of a scene," she said.
And don't look for traditional scene changes in "Seussical."
Sydney said that "each scene kind of blends into another and each scene change happens right before your eyes."
Here's hoping a lot of eyes will be watching as "Seussical" is presented on Friday, March 1, with showtime at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday, March 2, with shows at 1 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The cost is $7 for students and seniors and $9 for adults.
Do you have an idea for the Western Bradford Notebook? You can reach Eric Hrin at (570) 297-5251; email: email@example.com