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Seussical Features EKHS ‘Cat’ AND Low Sensory Performance

“It is fun to have fun, But you have to know how.” – The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss knew how to have fun and The Grand Rapids Civic Theater knows too. Well-loved characters take the stage Oct. 20-29. Starring in the show as the most famous Cat is East Kentwood High School’s very own Jared Martin.

Jared is no stranger to the stage. He’s been in Civic Theater productions before, plus school and community shows. He didn’t expect to land the narrator’s role in the musical. “I didn’t really believe it at first,” he says. “I was a little shocked.”

Seussical The Musical
Special low sensory performance Oct. 25 (doors open 7 p.m., musical starts 7:30 p.m.)Tickets: $5 or $20 for families of four or more (limited quantity)
Regular performances: Oct. 20-29
Where: Grand Rapids Civic Theater, 30 N. Division,
Contact: Box Office 616-222-6650

Civic Theatre is a proud sponsor of SNN

The musical is based on Dr. Seuss’s “Horton Hears a Who!,” “The Cat in the Hat” and “Miss Gertrude McFuzz” and is all about the importance of imagination.

The actors have used their imagination to find ways for children with sensory needs to have plenty of fun with the Dr. Suess production. They are performing a special, low-sensory show of “Seussical The Musical” on Oct. 25.

Low sensory shows are designed for those with sensory sensitivities, such as autism spectrum disorders, cognitive impairments and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. While the basic show remains the same, lower lighting is used and sounds are lowered. “It provides an experience for those who may not be able to tolerate (a performance) in a regular way,” explained Kindy Segovia, from Kent ISD’s Special Education Department.

Besides lowering the lighting and sound, audience members are allowed to stand up and walk around. Fewer tickets are sold to provide extra space for family members to move around or sit in. In addition, fidgets and noiseless toys can be brought into the theater. Earplugs can be worn to make sounds even quieter.

This performance also features designated parking with volunteers helping familes get from their vehicle right to their seats, and more volunteers to sit with children if a parent needs to accompany another to the lobby area.

A special Welcome Packet detailing many ways to help prepare children with sensory needs for this Oct. 25 show is sent to all families upon ticket purchase. All children attending will receive Seussical character trading cards.

The thinking behind this type of show is allowing children and adults to enjoy an event that could otherwise be too overwhelming or lead to disruptive behavior, Segovia said.

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Grand Rapids Civic Theater

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Linda Odette
Linda Odette
Linda Odette is a freelance writer and editor with more than 30 years of experience in journalism. She’s worked primarily as an editor in feature departments at newspapers in West Michigan, including the Grand Rapids Press, the Muskegon Chronicle and the Holland Sentinel. She lives in East Grand Rapids near the Eastown edge, has a teenage son and a daughter in college. Read Linda's full bio or email Linda.

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