The students of the Daniel Boone Youth Education Association School want you to think all you can think when you think about Seuss.
In honor of Read Across America Day, the group’s recent production of their annual Dr. Seuss Day show was worthy of the world famous author and his commitment to the zany. Complete with crazy costumes, wild hair and enough topsy-turvey dialogue to spin your head, the group entertained both young and old with their creative turn on Seuss classics “The Cat in the Hat,” “Horton Hatches An Egg,” “The Sneetches” and “The Lorax.”
This, the 14th annual Dr. Seuss Day production, was the most elaborate show to date. Under the direction of teacher Karen Shriner and DBYA student senior Megan Maynard, the 80 students worked together to create an original script with enough musical numbers to make a Broadway producer proud, including an a capella arrangement of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”
Stephen Barszowski, who played the venerable author in the production, says the group worked for more than two months writing and rehearsing. The set, straight out of Whoville, was so colorful and engaging that even a Grinch could love it. “It was really a collaborative effort, and we worked really hard,” Barszowski said.
The main storyline behind this year’s production was to help Dr. Seuss remember the stories he wrote after he wakes up with amnesia. The characters in his books retell their stories to trigger his memory, which eventually returns by the end of the play.
This year’s production was more than about promoting reading, however. When the group found out that a former student’s daughter was fighting leukemia, they generously agreed to donate all the proceeds from their public performances to help in her fight.
Olivia Blair, who will turn 2-years-old in May, was recently diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Olivia is the daughter of 1999 Daniel Boone graduate Kelly Blair who, along with her family, now lives in Maryland.
Sporting orange bracelets in support of Olivia, the group ended their production with an appeal to help fund Olivia’s fight. Noting the group sponsors blood drives and other community efforts throughout the year, Barszowski shrugged off any compliments regarding the benevolence of the DBYEA. “It’s what we do,” he said.