If you were to be passing by the Wilson Children’s Theatre on the 300 block of Old Town Salinas any day this week you might hear tiny voices from the lower rehearsal halls of ARIEL Theatrical.  “We are here!  We are here! We are here! WE ARE HERE!” they intone. Young people and a host of adult volunteers are here, scurrying through colorful and oddly shaped trees, bushes, houses, mountains and even a bathtub inspired by everyone’s favorite children’s author and philosopher, Dr. Seuss. SEUSSICAL (the Musical!) is here.

Is there anyone in America who has not read or listened to the antics of the Cat in the Hat or Horton the elephant?  Parents and babysitters, older brothers and sisters, toddlers and grandparents can recite by heart, “One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.” Say Dr. Seuss and immediately you think about strange figures sprouting bush like clumps of hair and three fingered furry critters lurching across jungles and swamps.

From the first moments of this energetic production of SEUSSICAL you’ll discover that “the things you can think when you think about Seuss” are extraordinary.  The audience is taken on a journey with dozens of familiar Seussian characters by none other than the Cat in the Hat! With great aplomb he announces that something special is about to happen. “After all of those years being stuck on a page–did you ever imagine you’d see me on stage?” he says. “Now I’m here.  There’s no telling what may ensue. No, there’s no telling what, but I’ll give you a clue.” Then the journey begins and “Oh the things you can think when you think about Seuss!”

Fans of Horton the elephant will be delighted to know that his determination, faithfulness and inherent respect for others are central to the action of SEUSSICAL. This is what makes it a perfect metaphor for ARIEL’s stated mission to “inspire young people to understand that personal integrity, respect for others and an acceptance of responsibility for choices made are the keys to building a productive life.”

In just a few days hundreds of set pieces, props and costumes will be packed up in trucks, vans and cars and begin their journey across town to Sherwood Hall.  SEUSSICAL in dazzling color and frenetic action will burst onto the stage with all the enthusiasm 52 teens and pre-teens can muster.  The show will be presented to thousands of Salinas area students as part of ARIEL’s annual Spring Musical Conservatory program the week of March 15th through March 20th.

For nearly twenty five years children from schools all over the county have had the opportunity to participate in live theater thanks to this amazing program supported by the Arts Council for Monterey County and pioneered by ARIEL. Call your school today to ask if they are making this unforgettable journey into the performing arts.  If not, encourage them to contact ARIEL Theatrical to reserve seats or make arrangements for next year’s program!  If you can only see one play this year, SEUSSICAL is the show not to be missed!

In order to make sure every family in the area has the opportunity to enjoy this epic voyage into the world of Dr. Seuss, public performances of SEUSSICAL have been scheduled on March 19th and 20th at 7:00.  Tickets are available at the Sherwood Hall Box Office.

SEUSSICAL will be performed there, but in the meantime ARIEL’s regular season continues at the Wilson Theatre in Oldtown.  If you have not taken the opportunity to see an ARIEL production, now is the time.  It is not too late to enjoy THE FABULOUS FABLE FACTORY which continues this weekend, Friday and Saturday at 7:00 pm and a Saturday matinee at 2:00 pm. Several dozen versatile actors discover lessons of life through a journey through Aesop’s classic fables and discover that “Now is the time to be open to the world around you.”

At the conclusion of SEUSSICAL every participant and audience member has a clear understanding that “a person’s a person no matter how small.” ARIEL is here to encourage children in their life experiences while providing support and guidance in a safe environment.  Becoming a “person” of integrity benefits us all.

The 2010 Season continues, and is full of opportunity.  Registration for our summer programs opens March 1.  Your child might sail fly with Peter Pan in the three-week conservatory or practice stage skills in one-week summer workshops. This fall join the classroom at Schoolhouse Rock or travel the Hundred Acre Wood with Winnie-the-Pooh.  We are here! We are here! WE ARE HERE! And we plan to be here for many years to come! We hope you will be here with us.

ARIEL Theatrical has provided an opportunity for patrons and friends of the theatre to honor their children, remembers loved ones or family members while helping to support programs for children.  As part of the NAME-A-SEAT drive, ARIEL Theatrical will attach a brass name plate to a seat in the Wilson Children’s Theatre auditorium in return for a $250.00 tax deductible donation.  This donation and the accompanying name plate will help future generations and inspire developing youngsters. What better way to enrich our community? Drop by the Wilson Children’s Theatre to reserve your special seat or call them today at 831-775-0976.

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