First Broadway Musical in Nearly a Decade Junior Theatre brings Dr. Seuss to Life

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February 19, 2018
Since 1951, Davenport Junior Theatre (DJT) has been making theatre “For Kids, By Kids.”  The upcoming production of Seussical Jr is the first Broadway production in nearly 10 years.  The last was Snoopy in 2009.
“It’s by far the biggest show we’ve done in 18 years,” said Artistic Director, Daniel Sheridan.  “The last time we did a production on this scale was Anne of Green Gables at the Adler Theatre in 2001 for our 50th anniversary.”
Seussical Jr not only boasts the largest budget for any one production in nearly a decade, but with 43 students involved from over 9 different area cities and towns the show is chalked full of talent. The kids are actors, crew members, tech board operators, front-of-house team members and more.  Local professional theatre artists work alongside the kids to create a dynamic theatre experience while training kids in theatrical production.
“I think the kids like being challenged and having lofty goals set for them,” said Seussical Jr director, Jessica Sheridan.  “For the most part, the music is exactly the same as found in the Broadway version of Seussical. Tough harmonies, big ranges and lots of music. It's a 65 minute show and about 2 minutes of it is spoken word. Otherwise it's all singing. And dancing. Lots of dancing. We've been in rehearsals 22+ hours a week for the past 6 weeks. That's a lot for anyone, much less students who are also trying to balance school, jobs, other extracurricular activities and social lives.”
Thanks to the recent success of the fall theatre renovation which saw over $150,000 worth of improvements to the theatre, Junior Theatre was able to make a $15,000 sound upgrade to accommodate the Broadway musical.
In the story of Seussical Jr, the show is brought to life through the eyes of JoJo, a small child who is visited by none other than The Cat in the Hat.  Many Seuss characters come alive, as the powers of friendship, loyalty, family and community are brought to life in this story.
“My favorite line in the show is ‘a person’s a person no matter how small,’” added director Jessica Sheridan.  “The show is about how everyone counts and everyone matters.  These kids matter. The other night I almost started crying during the opening number because I was so proud of how hard they've worked and awesome the show is shaping up to be
Founded in 1951, Davenport Junior Theatre is the nation’s second-oldest children’s theatre.  Classes and camps are offered year-round in theatre and dance for students ages three to eighteen. Classes are as varied as acting, improvisation, broadway, puppetry and theatrical design. In the quickly-growing dance division – which is now six years old – young dancers learn poise and confidence while having fun and making friends in a non-competitive dance environment.  Summers see a myriad of camps and other activities for kids of all ages.  Through all these opportunities, DJT prepares kids for a lifetime of success, no matter what path their lives may take.
Seussical, Jr
adapted by Daniel DP Sheridan
Performances:                                                                                    Tickets:
Saturday, February 17 at 1:00pm & 4:00pm                            Ages 3-17: $6.00        
Sunday, February 18 at 1:00pm & 4:00pm                              Adults: $8.00
Saturday, February 24 at 1:00pm & 4:00pm                            Under 2: Free
Sunday, February 25 at 1:00pm & 4:00pm                              Tickets sold at the door, no reservations

(Show runs approximately 65 minutes, intended for kids of all ages)
For additional interviews with cast or crew members, please contact Artistic Director, Daniel Sheridan. 
Contact info at top of this release.
Davenport Junior Theatre
2822 Eastern Avenue, Davenport, IA 52803

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