The coronavirus put an abrupt end to countless events. Many were months in the making.
But few came to a more crushing close than “Seussical: The Musical.”
Over 100 Staples Players cast and crew members prepared for the spring production since December. Just 2 days before opening night, Westport schools closed.
Sets, choreography, lighting, music — poof! It all vanished, into the infectious air.
Fortunately, Players videotaped the Tuesday night rehearsal show, performed before an audience of 100 parents.
Tomorrow (Saturday, April 4, 7 p.m.) and Sunday (April 5, 2 p.m.), Players will broadcast that now-historic recording.
Anyone who bought tickets to any of the scheduled performances will receive an email link on Saturday to the livestreams. Intermission features special video appearances by former Players, all now involved in the arts.
But — in typically creative Players fashion — you don’t have to have had a ticket to see this “Seussical.”
The organization set up a GoFundMe page. Though a few staff stipends are paid by the town, the rest of the award-winning program is funded almost entirely by ticket sales.
They pay for lumber, paint, lighting equipment purchase and rental, costume construction and rental, props, set designers, sound equipment and microphone rental, pit musicians’ salaries, makeup, wigs — and much, much more.
An average show — though Players are far from “average” — costs well over $50,000 to produce.
That’s a lot of money. But it’s also an amazing educational experience for hundreds of Staples students. Plus of course, a wonderful treat for the community.
Players has been on solid financial ground for over 15 years. Because of sellout audiences and great support from Westporters, they consistently recouped the money they spent. They seldom ask much financially from the community.
Now — having lost the opportunity both to produce “Seussical,” and benefit financially from it — they’re asking for help.
The Players know: “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”
This weekend, we can smile along with them. How lucky we all are that the one performance happened.
(Want a special “Seussical” preview? Click here!)