Jump into ‘Seussical’ with The Old Brick Playhouse
Anticipation is building for Thursday’s Old Brick Playhouse Apprentice performance of “Seussical the Musical” by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty.
The Old Brick Apprenticeship is a nationally acclaimed afterschool theatre program for secondary students located in Elkins. Recently nearly 85 students have been spending their afterschool time memorizing lines, practicing choreography, and singing in preparation for the Tony Award-winning musical. The play is a mash-up of Dr. Seuss’ favorites featuring beloved characters like Horton the Elephant, the Grinch, Cindy Lou Who, and a host of other magical beings.
“Now in our 28th season, spring doesn’t mean spring to me — it means Apprentice season, a time of heightened joy,” states Missy Armentrout McCollam, OBP executive director. “After all of these years, I am still endlessly dazzled by the amount of talent we have in this small town. The OBP staff provides the facility, the play, and direction — but our students contribute the magic that makes The OBP Apprentice show a tradition for many people in the community.”
The Old Brick Playhouse has been recognized by the President’s Committee on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the WV Divison of Culture and History, the National Theatre, and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe among others for their high energy performances and stellar educational programming. Apprentices not only appear in one mainstage production, they can also be seen working on passenger trains, volunteering for community events, and spending time doing Art Therapy with the Residents at Elkins Rehabilitation and Care Center.
The Apprentice program begins in October each year and culminates in a spring production. The shows have ranged from Romeo and Juliet to Shrek.
“Each year when our senior Apprentices graduate, we definitely feel the heartache,” states Armentrout McCollam, “Lucky for us, many of them return. In fact, five OBP alumni are serving as staff members for this year’s program” and many others pay it back by sponsoring a current student. With an alumni roster of over 5,000 students, the OBP Apprentice program is notorious for building a strong family-like atmosphere where “Everyone is different, and everyone is important.”
“The most enchanting part of the OBP Apprentice program is the magnificent support from the Elkins Community,” states Phil Smith. “Many of our students could not participate without scholarship support, and we have been so very fortunate that our town believes in investing in our youth. For this we are both proud and endlessly grateful.”
“Seussical the Musical” tells the story of loyalty, friendship, hope, and the importance of every individual. The play dreams of a place where “breezes are warm and people are kind – maybe it’s something like heaven” mentioning that ” if we can get there, we’re gonna stay there!”
This performance is suitable for Seuss lovers of all ages. The Apprentice performance is sponsored by Citizens Bank of West Virginia, the Tucker Community Foundation, The Snowshoe Foundation and the Randolph County Chamber of Commerce.
The Apprentice program scholarships are either fully or partially funded by Michael and Kerri Kline, EHS Alumni Association, Chris and Deborah Stout, Tamara Burner, Scottie Wiest, Bill Kerr, John Huerta and Pam Byrne, Megunn Hart and Daniel Brown, Alex Rosencrance, Nancy Tran, James Prentice, Terri Miller, Nancy Kisner, Dr. and Mrs. Donald Flemming, R. Sue Core, June Dickenson, Steve and Amy Mattingly, Maggie Rhudy, Elkins Main Street, Tesia Gibson, Steve and Jean Jory, Diana Patella, Jody Parrack, Dr. Omkar Karthikeyan, David Kessler, Leslie Moats, Erin Brumbaugh, Jillian Josimovich, Penne Harris, Dr. Patrick Brown, Michelle Dasher, Will Stout, Fred Pezzulli, Jeff Welshonce, Elkins Fordland, Life Reflections, LLC, Martha Cage, Susan and Dave Bobes, Randolph County Eyecare, Harry and Judi Smith, Diana Kerr, Sydney and Kyle West, Mark and Marsha Doak, Women’s Club of Elkins, Hrishi Karthikeyan, Cathy Delavigne, Dr. Joanna and Scott Biola, Susan Chua and Michael Monaco, James and Pat Schoonover, Sarah and Abbey Martin, Sue Lewis, Judge and Mrs. David Wilmoth, Elkins Kawanis Club, Michael Zorger, Steve Satterfield, Tygart Valley Lions Club, Elkins Junior Women’s Club, Knights of Columbus, AEI. Randolph County Association of Retired School Employees, Elkins Rotary Club, Melinda Kota and Studio MK, Dominion Energy, Denise Campbell, Zach Armentrout, Josie Toomey, Doris Armentrout, Carol Cain Bush, Terry Hovater, Elkins Rotary, and Jeff Fulmer This play is produced through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.
For more information about The Old Brick Playhouse or to book reservations , call the OBP at 304-637-9090 or log on to www.theoldbrick.org.