Press Release - ​​​Seussical

South Coast Repertory Summer Players Present Seussical

COSTA MESA, Calif. (​July 11, 2018)— With characters ranging from the Cat in the Hat to Who Fish to Yertle the Turtle and others, the award-winning musical Seussical is a crowd-pleaser for all ages. Seussical, with music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens and based on the book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, will be presented by South Coast Repertory’s Theatre Conservatory Summer Players. The show runs on the Julianne Argyros Stage, August 11-19, and is directed by Hisa Takakuwa, with musical direction by Erin McNally. Tickets are available at

This magical, musical extravaganza has Dr. Seuss characters from nearly 20 of his books. Cat in the Hat is the host and Horton the Elephant is the guide for this journey from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the World of the Whos, as a little boy with a big imagination proves that a person is a person, no matter how small. This Broadway hit is about the power of friendship and loyalty.

The Summer Players is an ensemble of talented young actors from SCR’s Theatre Conservatory who audition for roles in the annual summer production after at least one full year in the Conservatory classes. The cast for Seussical features 32 Orange County school children.

“The characters in the world of the play are so lively and colorful,” said Takakuwa. “The music is incredibly vibrant and wide-ranging in style—both things that provide a great challenge to and learning opportunity for our young actors. And, most importantly, it’s Dr. Seuss! The story explores and expresses timeless human themes of family and friendship, loyalty and generosity, and the power and inspiration of imagination.”

Each year, Takakuwa and McNally select a summer show that will give the most theatrical education benefit to young Conservatory actors and create a wonderful, entertaining experience for families of all ages.

Seussical really seemed the right fit for the kids currently in our program and, quite frankly, Erin and I love this show,” Takakuwa said. “It has an amazing score. Erin has said to me many times, ‘I’m so excited we get to spend the summer with Seussical!’

This is Takakuwa and McNally’s 12th musical together. Takakuwa has been director of SCR’s Theatre Conservatory for 13 years and has performed in the theatre’s Educational Touring Productions and as Sally in A Christmas Carol. She is a former member of the classical theatre company, A Noise Within.

McNally is an actor, vocalist and educator. A longtime Theatre Conservatory instructor, she created SCR’s musical theatre classes for advanced teen students. She is a frequent guest soloist at the Hollywood Bowl and the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, among other venues.

The design and creative team includes Leah Ramillano, set design; Kathryn Poppen, costume design; Karyn D. Lawrence, lighting design; Jeff Polunas, sound design; Holly Ahlborn, production manager; and Julia Bates, stage manager.

Thirty-two Conservatory students from 18 schools and 17 Orange County cities and towns are featured in the cast. See the full cast list, with school and town/city information below.

The show runs Aug. 11-19 (Saturday, August 11, at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Sunday, August 12 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Friday, August 17 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, August 18 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Sunday, August 19 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.). 

Tickets are $18 for children and $22 for adults, available through the SCR Box Office at (714) 708-5555 or online at

Related Information for ​​​Suessical

Julianne Argyros Stage, Aug. 11-19
music by Stephen Flaherty
lyrics by Lynn Ahrens
book by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty
co-conceived by Lynn Ahrens, Stephen Flaherty and Eric Idle
based on the works of Dr. Seuss
music direction by Erin McNally
directed by Hisa Takakuwa

Performance Dates: Saturday, August 11, at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Sunday, August 12 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Friday, August 17 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, August 18 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.; Sunday, August 19 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Tickets: $18 (children) and $22 (adults), available through the SCR Box Office at (714) 708-5555 or online at

Cast List:
Dane Bergman: Citizen of the Jungle, Cadet
Christina Brady: Bird Girl
Natalie Bright: Jojo
Maeve Callahan: Who, Fish, Circus Member, Elephant Bird
Sarah Cocroft: Cat in the Hat
Lauren Dong: Gertrude McFuzz*
Grady Farman: Citizen of the Jungle, Cadet
PJ Giglia: Who, Fish, Circus Member
Marley Green: Bird Girl
Zoe Hebbard: Who, Fish Circus Member
Mitchell Huntley: Horton the Elephant*
Talha Kahf: Citizen of the Jungle, Cadet, Hunter
Sean Kato: Wickersham
Caroline Kennedy: Who, Fish, Circus Member
Katie Lee: Who, Fish, Circus Member
Grace Tomblin Marca: Mrs. Mayor
Aoife McEvoy: Who Fish, Circus Member
Olivia Melgoza: Baby Kangaroo
Maxfield Ney: Who Fish, Circus Member
Maddy Nickless: Citizen of the Jungle, Cadet, Vlad Vladikoff
Sarah Sparks: Wickersham
Nick Slimmer: General Genghis Khan Schmitz/Yertle the Turtle*
Ben Susskind: Mr. Mayor
Timory Taber: Citizen of the Jungle, Cadet
Chloe Thompson: Sour Kangaroo
Tara Thompson: Mayzie La Bird
Nick Trafton: Wickersham
Jacki Vellandi: Citizen of the Jungle, Cadet, Hunter
Preston Veravanich: Who Fish, Circus Member, Grinch
Ella Webb: Bird Girl
Julia Wolfe: Citizen of the Jungle, Cadet
Caitlyn Yu: Who, Fish Circus Member
*appeared in the 2012 Summer Players production at South Coast Repertory

Actor Hometowns:
Aliso Viejo: Tara Thompson, BYU Online
Anaheim Hills: Olivia Melgoza, Imperial Elementary School
Costa Mesa: Sarah Cocroft, Huntington Beach High School; Zoe Hebbard, Orange County School of the Arts; Maddy Nickless, Costa Mesa High School; Grace Tomblin-Marca, Waldorf School
Foothill Ranch: Sarah Sparks, Orange County School of the Arts
Fountain Valley: Marley Green, Fountain Valley High School
Huntington Beach: Christina Brady, Dwyer Middle School; Grady Farman, Carden Hall; Sean Kato, Mesa View Middle School
Irvine: Natalie Bright, Orange County School of the Arts; Lauren Dong, Orange County School of the Arts; Philip “PJ” Giglia, Santiago Hills Elementary School; Katie Lee, Meadow Park Elementary School; Ben Susskind, Orange County School of the Arts; Caitlyn Yu, Rancho San Joaquin Middle School
Ladera Ranch: Jacki Vellandi, Orange County School of the Arts
Lake Forest: Nick Trafton, El Toro High School
Long Beach: Caroline Kennedy, Orange County School of the Arts
Los Alamitos: Nick Slimmer, Graduate of American Academy of Dramatic Arts (college)
Mission Viejo: Preston Veravanich, La Paz Intermediate School
Newport Beach: Mitchell Huntley, Orange County School of the Arts; Aoife McEvoy, Orange County School of the Arts; Ella Webb, Orange County School of the Arts; Julia Wolfe, high school graduate
Newport Coast: Dane Bergman, The Pegasus School
North Tustin: Maeve Callahan, Our Lady Queen of the Angels School
Orange: Talha Kahf, Institute of Knowledge
Silverado: Maxfield Ney, Chapman Hills Elementary School

Written by Danielle Bliss

ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.