Huili’s founding year has been a successive string of firsts, with the latest being our very first musical theatre production. 22 pupils from grades 3-6 were responsible for creating Seussical Jr. – a wonderfully colourful, cool and creative feast of dancing, singing and performing, based on the books of beloved children’s author, Dr Seuss. With pupils stepping into the roles of larger-than-life characters like the Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, Sour Kangaroo, Mayzie La Bird and Gertrude McFuzz, this was an amazingly fun and exciting first musical for Huili to tackle.
With auditions starting way back in January, the process of bringing Seussical Jr. to life required great dedication and sustained personal effort from everyone involved. Pupils frequently rehearsed during CCA times as well as investing three weekends of extra rehearsal time to put the show together and make it as polished as it could possibly be.
Alongside the preparatory efforts on stage, there was plenty going on behind the scenes. The vibrant set and costumes were put together by pupils in Mr Abood’s school production set design CCA, and their props and backdrops really helped bring the show to life. The larger-than-life pills on the pillberry bush and the spotted giant elephant bird egg are just a couple of the incredible pieces they produced for us.
Suddenly, after months of preparation, it was showtime. On March 27th, Huili pupils performed Seussical Jr. to a special audience in a matinee and then again on March 28th to a packed evening audience. Huili’s performing pupils sang, danced and acted on the Wellington College International Shanghai’s stage with such comfort and ease, that it felt as though they had been on it for months. However, for most pupils this wasactually their first time treading the boards in such a big production.
I am extremely proud of what our pupils achieved with their first major theatrical production, and I hope that they are very proud of themselves. Not only was this their first taste at Huili of auditioning, rehearsing, learning lines, practising dance routines and crafting their stage presence, pupils also saw first hand exactly what goes into creating a cohesive piece of theatre. This process tested their courage as they overcame any potential feelings of stage fright, as well as demonstrating to them the discipline necessary to keep honing a performance to a polished shine. Naturally, it also proved to be an invaluable experience in terms of building their teamwork skills, as well as the empathy necessary to keep pushing each other towards their best possible performance.
All that remains for me to do is to sincerely thank everyone for their sterling efforts and unfailingly positive attitude,both of which were present throughout the process of drawing Seussical Jr. together.