July 05, 2023

College interns create the world of Dr. Seuss

students performing on stage

Cowley Summer Theatre, a collaboration of Cowley College and the V.J. Wilkins Foundation, produced “Guys and Dolls” earlier this summer, and now their newest creation is Seussical the Musical which brings together interns from Cowley College (Arkansas City, KS), University of Wisconsin-Parkside (Kenosha, WI), and State Fair Community College (Sedalia, MO). Students manage all aspects of show creation, from costuming to scenic design to lighting and even choreography. Leading them is Jason Huffman, director of this production.

All of the colorful creations from the world of Dr. Seuss will be on display at the Robert Brown Theatre at Cowley College on July 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. on July 16. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children, seniors, or military. They can be purchased at cowley.edu/boxoffice by calling 620-441-5223 or at the door.

A total of 28 students are creating the world of Dr. Seuss with a deadline of five weeks to put together a show from start to finish; Seventeen are community members who volunteer their evenings to juggle, tap, and parade across the stage, and eleven are collegiate interns as part of Cowley Summer Theatre.

Seussical the Musical begins with a familiar red-and-white-striped hat and a curious cat. The Whos of Whoville, including the Grinch, reside on a clover under the watchful eye of Horton the Elephant. With music by Stephen Flaherty and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, co-conceived by Ahrens, Flaherty, and Eric Idle, Dr. Seuss characters like Gertrude McFuzz and Mayzie La Bird help and hinder Horton in a wacky extravaganza of Circus McGurkus proportions. 

Seussical the Musical is presented through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). MTI also supplies all authorized performance materials. www.mtishows.com

Cast List
Cat in the Hat                    Xavier Huffman*
Jojo                                     Evan Quiett*
Horton                                Colton Smith*
Gertrude                             Gwyneth Abrams*
Mayzie                                Alicia Hunter*
Bird Girl 1                           Amollie Stoermer*
Bird Girl 2                           Kaleyah Evans+
Bird Girl 3                           Shelby Biddle+
Bird Girl 4                           Alice Paton+
Sour Kangaroo                  Brynlea Watkins*
Young Kangaroo               Luxe Espino+
Wickersham  1                  Cambria McKinzie+
Wickersham  2                   Catriona McKinzie+
Wickersham  3                   Charlie McKinzie+
Wickersham  4                    Zoey McNulty+
Jungle Citizen/Hunch        Alejandra Mendez+
Jungle Citizen/Hunch        Cara Cales+
Cadet/Circus Member       Journey Dykes+
Cadet/Circus Member       Felicity Dykes+
Yertle/Grinch/General        Micah Whitley*
Mr. Mayor                             Ethan Courter*
Mrs. Mayor                           Reese Pappan+
Who/Circus Member          Zoe Kerwood+
Who/Circus Member          Aria Ripley+
Who/Circus Member          Hadleigh Smyel+
* - Denotes College Intern
+ - Denotes Community Member

Creative Team
Nick Albrecht – Cowley Summer Theatre Artistic Director
Jason Huffman – Director, Technical Director, Projection Design
MJ Harper – Music Director
Brynlea Watkins – Choreographer
Gwyneth Abrams – Costume Design
Alicia Hunter – Costume Design
Amolie Stoermer – Makeup/Hair Design, Costumes
Michah Whitely – Props
Xavier Huffman – Set construction, Paint crew
Colton Smith – Set Construction, Props, Paint crew
Ethan Courter – Set Construction, Props, Paint crew
Amilia Baca – Scenic Design, Paint Design, Stage Manager
Peyton Williams – Sound Design & sound Board Op, Props, Paint Crew, Set Construction
Patrick Burgess-Clark – Lighting Design, Fly Rail Op, Set Construction, Paint Crew

Rama Peroo | Director of Institutional Communication
Cowley College
125 S. 2nd Street
Arkansas City, KS 67005