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Involvement in youth production Seussical Jr. a fun challenge for musician Jane Perrier

Jane Perrier is seen rehearsing with youth cast members of "Seussical Jr." onstage at the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre. Next to Perrier, who is playing Mayzie La Bird, is Sarah Rotchford, who will be portraying Birdgirl.
Jane Perrier is seen rehearsing with youth cast members of

Enjoying the Stephenville Theatre Festival’s musical from last year “Urinetown,” led to Jane Perrier getting involved with this year’s youth initiative “Seussical Jr.,” a pre-season play.

As a person who has always loved music and singing, she’s only too happy to add live theatre to her repertoire and believes she’s found her niche in being a cast member of this production.

“It’s really fun so far,” she said of the rehearsals, which have been ongoing for months. “Everyone is learning a lot from it.”

Everyone consists of the 42 young people who make up the cast of the play.

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Perrier, a 16-year-old Grade 11 student of Stephenville High School, is singing in the play and portraying the part of Mayzie LaBird.

She said it requires a lot of commitment. She punches in about 11 hours a week at it but says it’s not like working and more like fun.

“I like the fact everyone involved gets together and how everybody is now getting comfortable on stage,” Perrier said.

While she has experience through her singing and doing public appearances, as well as being a member of her school choir and the drama club, she said it’s even better for the young people who don’t get to do that kind of stuff.

Perrier has been involved in the Stephenville Rotary Music Festival since she was seven years of age singing, playing guitar and the ukulele, so she’s no stranger to the stage and said it’s something she just does.

Being involved in the production is giving her even more experience for the future, including learning things about staging, which she believes will be an asset when she heads to post-secondary education doing something in music, theatre or possibly both.

Seussical Jr. features many Dr. Seuss characters including Horton the Elephant and the Cat in the Hat.

This is a production of the Stephenville Theatre Festival Young Company made up of students between ages eight to 18. The production is directed by Heather Braaten with musical direction by Lisa Nolan.

Braaten said the last time the festival young people involved dates back to about the year 2000, so she felt it was appropriate in this 40th anniversary season to introduce the kids in the community to theatre and training.

“I think it’s a perfect time to bring back a young company.”

While the production is being put off at 7:30 p.m. on May 25 and 26, Braaten said, depending on who is around at the time she may get some youth involved in The Gala.

She said the young people are enthusiastic and energetic, as are some young parents who are helping out with costumes and the set.

Braaten said there is a lot of young talent in the area and, because the production is a musical, it was easy to get them involved since many are already involved in the Rotary Music Festival.

Sarah Mercer, front, playing Cat in the Hat, and Isabelle Walsh, portraying Jojo in "Seussical Jr.," pose onstage at the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre.
Sarah Mercer, front, playing Cat in the Hat, and Isabelle Walsh, portraying Jojo in "Seussical Jr.," pose onstage at the Stephenville Arts and Culture Centre.

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