Books feed the imagination. That’s true whether you’re reading William Shakespeare or Dr. Seuss.
Staples Players has staged Shakespeare’s works. Next week, they debut “Seussical: The Musical.”
And because Players is far more than just an award-winning high school-but-really-professional drama troupe, they’re giving the gift of books to kids who need them — with help from the generosity of audiences who flock to this show.
At every performance, volunteers will collect new and used children’s books. They’ll be donated to the library at the K-8 Curiale School in Bridgeport. Cash donations for book purchases are welcome too.
Players directors David Roth and Kerry Long are excited about the project — and “Seussical.”
They’ve wanted to produce the show for years. “I love the music, the themes — and I’ve always loved Dr. Seuss,” says Roth, in his third decade leading the legendary program.
“Because it’s appropriate for all audiences, middle schools have done it before. Now the time is right for us.”
Roth notes that although Dr. Seuss wrote children’s books, “Seussical” — which debuted on Broadway in 2000 — is “more than a kids’ show. Adults love the music, lyrics and dancing.
“People ask me if ‘Seussical’ is appropriate for kids, and I say ‘absolutely. They will love it!’ Other people ask me if it is a kids’ show and I say ‘absolutely not!’ It’s really a show for all ages. Adults love it as much, if not more, than kids.”
The musical also offers “lots of very relevant messages, especially in today’s climate,” Roth says. They include “taking care of each other, being true to your convictions, being happy with who you are, and having positive body image.”
Some current Players performed “Seussical” when they were younger. But, Roth says, “those were junior versions. This is very different.”
The current cast looks forward to the show. “It’s very creative. They’re experiencing being different animals and creatures. Along with the movement and voices, it’s all very cool.”
Almost as cool as collecting children’s books, for a school a few miles away that desperately needs them.
(“Seussical: The Musical” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 13 and 20, and Saturday, March 14 and 21, with matinees at 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 14 and 21, and Sunday, March 15. Characters are available for autographs following each matinee; a small fee will be collected, to help the Curiale School library. For tickets, cast lists and more information, click here.)