2 Stage Right productions in Greensburg prove no age is too young for musical theater
Greensburg Garden & Civic Center will be bustling with kids in costume June 1-3, as Stage Right's student companies present their productions of “Seussical the Musical” and “Hairspray Jr.”
A total of 118 singers, dancers and actors from the teen and pre-teen companies of Stage Right — plus a group of “Tiny Monsters” ages 4-7 directed by Renata Marino and Jeanne Jane — will showcase the performance skills they have learned this semester in musical theater classes and workshops at Stage Right School for the Performing Arts and Professional Theatre Company in Greensburg.
Stage Right's Pre-teen Company (ages 8-12) will present “Hairspray Jr.” at 6:30 p.m. June 1-2 directed by Tony Marino, Stage Right artistic director; the Teen Company (ages 13-17) will present “Seussical the Musical” at 8:30 p.m. June 1-2 and 2 p.m. June 3 co-directed by Tony and Renata Marino, Stage Right dance program director.
Tony Marino says he chose the two musicals because they are shows that each age group loves, “although these are musical theater kids, so they like most shows.”
Big production numbers
Also, both of the shows contain enough roles that he could double- and triple-cast them and give as many students as possible an opportunity to perform, “plus they each have big production numbers, great characters and material that really pushes kids to get better at everything,” he adds.
“Hairspray Jr.” is adapted from the Broadway production that won eight Tony Awards, including best musical. Set in 1962, the show focuses on a teen girl as she gets her wish to dance on a popular TV show and become a star and attempts to dethrone the reigning Miss Teen Hairspray.
“Seussical,” by Tony Award winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, brings to life favorite Dr. Seuss characters, including Horton the Elephant, the Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz and more.
The artistic director says his ultimate goal in having his students perform in front of a community audience is to help them gain confidence, self-esteem and a feeling of accomplishment that they can take with them moving forward.
Chris McAllister is musical director for “Seussical,” and Nick Lenz is musical director for “Hairspray Jr.” Mark Kissner of Pittsburgh Public Theatre is scenic designer and painter for both shows.
Others helping with the productions include Lynn Rusnica and Gloria McClain, costumes; Tracy Angelo and Julie Cramer, props; Maya Bhatnagar, student director; Benjamin Hommel, student set designer, and Ben Pimental, production assistant.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.