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UPDATE: Seussical performance by Ammon Arts Community Theater postponed due to COVID-19

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Actors rehearse their version of Seussical set to open on Aug. 6 at Thunder Ridge High School. | Courtesy Clay Cammack Photography and Ammon Arts Community Theater

UPDATE:

AMMON —- Due to ongoing health concerns the Ammon Arts Community Theater has postponed the production and released the following statement:

“To all our wonderful patrons, due to some unforeseen circumstances, we are unfortunately in a position where we need to postpone the performance of Seussical for two weeks. It is our intention to perform this wonderful show instead on August 20th through the 24th. For all of your tickets we would like to offer a direct transfer to that weekend. So if you bought tickets for Thursday the 6th, they would transfer to Thursday the 20th, and so on. It is our sincere hope that this solution will work for the majority of you. If this does not work for your situation, please let us know and we will of course issue a refund. The theme of 2020 seems to be flexibility. Hopefully you can stick with us as we try to be flexible and adapt to our situation.

Thank you for your support, and we hope to see you in two weeks.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

AMMON — A community theater group in Ammon plans to bring the world of Dr. Suess to life with their performance of “Seussical” opening this week.

“I’m hoping that we’ve created a world here that most people haven’t seen before on stage,” said the musical’s director Justin X. Christiansen. “I really hope when an audience comes and sees this, they’re going to go, ‘wow.'”

The Ammon Arts Community Theater started last year with months of preparation to bring their first production, Seussical, to reality. Christiansen described the show as flashy and fun, taking the audience to the worlds of Whoville, the Jungle of Nool, and other creations from the children’s author Dr. Suess.

“I love this show,” said Jacob Meldrum, who plays Horton the Elephant. “Horton has been right at the top of my list of things that I would love to do before I die.”

The musical centers around the plot of Dr. Seuss’ book, “Horton Hear’s a Who,” telling the story of Horton the elephant while implementing other Dr. Seuss stories. Meldrum said the production gives people a chance to learn from the kindness of his character and how to navigate life’s challenges.

“Take the whole show home with you,” Meldrum said. “In this time, when it feels like sometimes we’re dropped out of the sky, that everything’s turned upside down, that nothing will ever be right again, we can take these whole new worlds and we can take them home with us.”

Bringing everything to life took the work of the entire crew. Ali Rockwood led the creation of the massive changing set, and after constructing and painting it, she says it looks like it came off the page of a book.

Part of the set at Thunder Ridge High School where The Ammon Arts Community Theater will perform Seussical the musical next week. | Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com

“It was fun for me to get to research by looking at all of his different stories and his artistic style, Rockwood said.

Rockwood also plays the role of Gertrude McFuzz.

A commonality with all the cast and crew preparing for opening night is how COVID-19 threw a wrench in things, but also made preparing for the show even more enjoyable. With the health order from Eastern Idaho Public Health limiting the size of gatherings, audiences will likely be smaller, but the show goes on.

“It’s affected us in lots of ways, but that’s the joy I found in the situation, being able to just put all of my time and work into this joyful experience,” Rockwood said.

Around 75 people, ranging from a toddler to a man in his 50s, comprise the cast and crew for next week’s performance. All with varying backgrounds, like Meldrum, a designer for Harris Publishing, and mothers like Chelsea Stubbs, who joined the production with her 4-year-old daughter.

“The cast is fantastic. Everyone is so nice to each other. The characters are so good,” said Stubbs, who plays Mrs. Mayor. “It’s a beautiful show. It’s a zany show … People are going to laugh, people are going to cry.”

Those wishing to obtain tickets for Seussical can visit the auditorium’s online ticketing website. The curtain drops on Aug. 6 at 7 pm. with shows happening Aug. 7, 8, and 10. A matinee will also happen Aug. 8 at 1 p.m. The ACCT plans to have a sign language interpreter at the performances on Aug. 8.

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