November 29, 2012

Horton Hears A Who

We (Thin Ice Theater) have just completed our second annual Dr. Seuss class. Last fall we presented The Cat In The Hat.  This year - Horton Hears A Who.

The format is designed to introduce young kids, ages 5 - 10 or so, to all aspects of play production.  Dr. Seuss stories are a great introduction to the theater.  The rhyming lines and rhythm help young actors with memorization.  And actually, the style is very much like Shakespearean scripts, so this is really a first step towards working with the Bard's great plays.

Not only do the students learn about acting and being on stage, they also help produce the sets, props, and costumes (which is where I come in).  The kids end up feeling quite a bit of pride and ownership in their shows.

The kids learn how the designing of costumes and sets helps interpret the story, and helps support their acting.  We make a point of keeping everything we make and use to the limited color schemes of the original Dr. Seuss illustrations.  Clothes in appropriate colors were found in our costume collection and in the kids' own closets. The kids then made accessories and did some alterations for sizing.  Making sets and props includes painting, glueing, cutting, and drawing.

Here are some highlights from both productions.

The Cat In The Hat
creating a cake-on-a-plate hat


the set

on stage:
the mother, fish, Sally, the boy, Cat, book, cup, a Thing

Horton Hears A Who
making Who puppets

the Whos:
finger tips were stuffed to fit short fingers
faces drawn on, and doo-dads glued on for hair and accessories


making Whoville:
boxes and tubes covered with construction paper and decorated with odds and ends
(inspired by this blog)

making felt set decorations

designed to mimic the book cover
large boxes with posterboard glued on for color
posterboard trees, paper letters, felt decorations


on stage:
narrator, mother kangaroo, young kangaroo, Horton

 narrator, Jojo, monkey, Horton, kangaroos

Vlad Valdikoff and Horton
with clover plus dust speck, and clover field

Whos and Who mayor with puppet gloves 

the adorable cast

and because I hardly ever appear on these posts:
me, Jojo, a little Who, our director Eileen

More photos from both shows, including costume portraits of all the actors, can be seen on my website.  

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