‘Blessed with talent’: Shelton High drama club’s spring musical makes triumphant return

Photo of Brian Gioiele
Freshman Ben Sousa poses on stage at Shelton High School, in Shelton, Conn. April 11, 2022. Sousa will plays the lead roll of Horton the Elephant in the upcoming production of “Seussical: The Musical.”

Freshman Ben Sousa poses on stage at Shelton High School, in Shelton, Conn. April 11, 2022. Sousa will plays the lead roll of Horton the Elephant in the upcoming production of “Seussical: The Musical.”

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON - After two years of remaining dark, the high school drama club will once again be raising the curtain later this month for the traditional spring musical.

The club’s cast and crew will be presenting “Seussical: The Musical” on April 28 to 30 on the high school auditorium’s stage. The last time the school drama club took the stage, the performers captured the prestigious Sondheim Award for their production of “Chicago” in what was the last show before the onset of the pandemic.

“Everyone has been waiting for this,” club adviser Joe Sedlock said. “It is still so hard to believe it has been two years (since the last spring show). Everyone is excited. I just still feel bad for all those kids who couldn’t have a spring musical the last two years.”

The shows will be at 7 p.m. Tickets — $20 for adults, $15 for students — can be purchased at showtix4u.com.

In all, there are 40 students involved, 31 as performers, nine with the stage crew. Sedlock said that the pandemic — and the lack of the signature spring musical over the past two years — has left the club searching for more performers.

Sedlock said his hope is the return of the show will once again spark interest among the younger age groups to join what he calls his “theater family.”

While student participation waned during the pandemic, the number of parents and community volunteers has increased. Sedlock said more than 30 volunteers have been helping build and prepare the set.

Funds raised through ticket sales go to putting on the production, which he says will cost about $25,000. He said the set requirements for Seussical are minimal, but the lighting and costumes, as well as obtaining the music and rights to the show, are the major cost drivers.

The club got in some on-stage work this past winter with its production of “Adaptations,” money raised from which went to this spring musical.

“We’re blessed in Shelton. We have a great theater system that produces talented kids every year,” Sedlock said. “I thought we would never see as talented a group as we had with ‘Chicago,’ but I’ve been proven wrong. This group is so good. I’m excited to see them perform for the community.”

The talent is deep, with senior Aine Saranich among a group of leads covering each grade level. Other leads are freshman Ben Souza, sophomores Roberto DeSantis, Kate MacPherson and Maya Giampaolo, and junior Megan Loiacano.

“Even though there are leads, all the kids will be on stage the whole show … singing, dancing,” Sedlock said. “This is what we have all been anticipating.”

brian.gioiele

@hearstmediact.com