ACS Theater to cast in Seussical, Jr.

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @dvillechief
Director Katie Peck and some of the Ascension Catholic cast of Seussical, Jr. practice for the musical last week.

The Ascension Catholic School theatre students will present its 24th Spring Musical Play on April 26 and April 27 at the ACHS Gym. This year's play is entitled, "Seussical, Jr." a concept from multiple stories from the beloved author Dr. Seuss and is directed by Katie Peck.

The play brings to life all of the favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie and a little boy with a big imagination named Jojo. The Cat in the Hat, who is played by senior Sam Mattingly, narrates the stories.

The cast features students from all levels of the school – elementary to high school – and its main characters are played by the veteran actors of Ascension Catholic.

Seventh grader Spencer Sternfels has been casting in plays since he was in the first grade and in Seussical, Jr. Sternfels will play a character he said he relates to, Horton.

"I can relate to the character because I used to be bullied a lot and he's pretty much just like me," Sternfels said.

ACS is well known in the community for staging memorable plays and former ACS teacher Sandra Mistretta who retired last year started them. However Mistretta wasn't the one who recommended Seussical, Jr. to be the play for this year, in fact is was Rikki Bergeron, an 11th grader.

"It's a play that not everybody in Donaldsonville already knows and knows the story," Bergeron said about pushing for Seussical, Jr., "and so we could bring a new story and new magic to the town."

Seussical, Jr. will be the seventh play Bergeron has casted in and she said working with first graders and other younger actors is really fun for her.

"They soak everything up," Bergeron said. "They have a very natural acting ability because they haven't yet began to question themselves. So they are not afraid to look silly."

Since Mistretta's retirement the theater department has been left in the hands of art teacher Mary Beth Garic and some other dedicated teachers and parents. She said putting together the play has been "so much fun and the kids really enjoy it."

"It's wonderful because they get to know each other and you end up like a family after something like this."

Garic couldn't forget the work Mistretta put in to developing the Ascension Catholic theater and spring musical opportunity for the kids.

"She is the backbone behind this and has the children so interested in the music and doing things like this."

Garic added, "For a lot of our kids this is their lives and they don't get the recognition like say sports, but this is their time to shine. And it's a wonderful experience."