Crimson Company takes a trip to Whoville with spring musical

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Poster design by Meghan McClarey (Credit: Brian and Dawn McGurl)

By Emily Fedor

The spring musical production from the Dunmore High School Crimson Company Drama Club is Seussical, a magical, musical extravaganza. The show will run March 31, April 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, and 9 at the Dunmore High School Auditorium. The curtain will rise at 7 p.m. each evening.

Tony Award winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty have lovingly brought to life all of our favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant (Mark Nealon), The Cat in the Hat (Nico Summa), Gertrude McFuzz (Cessna Pendon), lazy Mayzie (Marisa Moraski), and a little boy with a big imagination—Jojo (Will Meade). The colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family, and community are challenged and emerge triumphant.

After seeing productions of the show themselves, Crimson Company directors Brian and Dawn McGurl both realized Seussical offers a lot of opportunity for creative expression.

“You can really put your own mark on it. It’s so imaginative, and the music is great,” said Dawn McGurl. “We just felt we could really do something fantastic at Dunmore with it.”

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For this show, the Crimson Company has partnered up with two local groups. The first is the Dunmore Elementary Center group called Pack Them with Love. The organization was founded in 2013 to provide children in the school’s free lunch program with nutritious treat bags to take home with them over the weekend.

The DHS auditorium will be a Pack Them with Love donation site for the run of the show. Additionally, one dollar from every ticket purchase made on Saturday, April 2, will be gifted to the organization. Some Crimson Company members will also trek over to the DEC to help pack up the weekend treat bags.

The drama club has also entered their second year of collaboration with Marywood University’s CMYK Club. Graphic design students submitted show poster concepts for last year’s spring musical South Pacific after Brian McGurl connected with Marywood associate professor John Meza during the recent Scranton Cultural Center production of Happy Elf.

Marywood students showed off their talents again this year with their Dr. Seuss inspired designs. All of the poster sketches submitted for Seussical will be displayed in the auditorium lobby during the show’s run, but junior Meghan McClarey’s design will be featured on the show’s posters, program covers and t-shirts.

“It’s great for Marywood students. They have a real-world project that they have to do for an actual show.” said Dawn. “And we love it, too. We’re definitely going to continue to do it.”

The Crimson Company will also be hosting their “Circus McGurkus” fundraiser from 10 a.m. until noon on Saturday, March 5 in the DHS Cafeteria. A $10 admission fee will provide fun activities and treats that the whole family can enjoy. Each attendee can also have their photo taken with the Seussical characters at the event compliments of Rich Banick Photography.

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Students ranging in years from freshmen to seniors make up this musical’s talented cast:

Kaitlin Ahern,  Allison Aronica, Alexandra Asman, Anthony Behler, Lauren Brown, Barrington Bucknor, Molly Butler, Ryan Carey, Madison Castellano, Lily Conboy, Arianna Costanzi, Tia Coyer, Gabrielle Crawford, Jack Culkin, Madison Eagen, Abby Errico, Joe Ferguson, Tabitha Getz, Luke Gratkowski, Tim Hopkins, Bobby Kersavage, Amanda Lucas, Annabella Massaro, Ariel Matticks, Lydia Meade, Will Meade, Aislinn McDonald, Tessa McDonald, Billy McDonough, Bobby McMynne, Riley McNally, Marisa Moraski, Mark Nealon, Sophia Norvilas, Cessna Pendon, Marchete Pendon, Cori Pietruszkiewicz, Mackenzie Senatore, Aleia Sileo, Emily Stedina, Nico Summa and Ian Wagner.

Dance captains are Alexandra Asman, Lauren Brown and Ashley Fischetti.  Caitlin McCafferty is the show’s production assistant in addition to co-stage manager with Melissa Schneider. Assistant stage managers are Molly Clouse and Molly Romeo.

Crew members include: Patrick Conway, Maeve King, Matt Kosak, Maddie Loftus, Nicole Marzzacco, Korral Mooney, Elizabeth Nolen, Grace Nolen and Michael Terry.

The Crimson Company directors joke that they regret picking the show because of how much work it entails to bring the world of Dr. Seuss to life, but they say the cast and crew are making the process well worth it.

“The kids, especially the leads, are just wonderful,” said Dawn. “Great voices. Great actors. It’s really going to be a great show.”

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