NSU to present dance version of “The Cat in the Hat”

Northwestern State University Theatre and Dance will perform an original dance version of Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat” March 14-16 and March 17 at 2 p.m. in the A.A. Fredericks Auditorium. Tickets are $15 and $12 for senior citizens. NSU, BPCC@NSU and Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts students are admitted free with a current I.D.

The dance production is co-directed by Kirstin Riehl and Brett Alan Garfinkel and is based on Seuss’ popular children’s book, which was published in 1957. Choreography is by Riehl, Garfinkel and Rebecca Morgan. Yuriy Nayer, a guest lighting designer from New York City, will collaborate with the directors to illuminate the show in a magical way. Also helping the vision of the story come to life are original set pieces designed by Phil Kidd, costume design by Jessica Parr and props designed by Madalyn Mullins. An animation student in the art department, Heather White, has also contributed to the performance through the projection videos.

Garfinkel said this dance production has allowed students in the new Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance degree program an opportunity to work closely with faculty in the creation of an original large-scale story-based dance performance.

“My favorite part of working on a production like this is the ability to tell the story by putting our own spin on it,” said Garfinkel. “The biggest challenge was finding music that would support the show. I’m very proud of how the performance turned out and love collaborating with other faculty and artists.”

According to Riehl, the local community and students in the area will benefit from community outreach performances. Two school matinee performances have already sold out with 2,800 students scheduled to come to NSU over two days.

“I particularly enjoy when we get to come together as a faculty and create a magical story through dance,” said Riehl. “This kind of production is important in that it allows children to experience the art of dance through a story. We hope to open the imaginations and hearts of all that attend this special production.”

The cast is Alphonse Engram of DeRidder as the Cat in the Hat, Taylor Young of New Orleans as Sally, Jayzen Boger of Edmond, Oklahoma as Boy, Luther Brooks IV of Lafayette as Fish, Emily Ricalde of New Orleans as Mom, Katherine Langlois of Baton Rouge, Abigail Miller of Slidell, Asher Van Meter of Edmond, Oklahoma, and John Jefferson of Shreveport as Things, Maci Burt of Mandeville, Hannah Knoff of Baton Rouge, Ashley Henry of Slidell and Erin Fallis of Pineville as Rain.

The cast also includes Alexz Hattier of Slidell, Kelsy Elkins of Natchitoches, Brandi Corkern of Covington and Joey Carroll and Mary Scott Pourciau of Baton Rouge as Fun and Tara Lane of Little Rock, Arkansas, Leyla Fettweis of Brussels, Belgium, and Vilma Castro Lopez of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, as Sad, Sarah Talbot of Baton Rouge and Mary Strickland and Haleigh Giorlando-Wall of New Orleans as Machine Arms and Laura Guzman Rodriguez of Cartagena, Colombia, Dustin Huffman of Mabank, Texas, Yoon Lee of Edmond, Oklahoma, and Sidney Gilder of Crowley as Tappers.

For ticket information, call (318) 357-4483.