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ACU to perform "Seussical" as new Homecoming Musical for 2005-06

"Seussical" will be performed as Abilene Christian University's Homecoming Musical this fall, according to Adam Hester, chair of ACU's theatre department.  The choice replaces "Aida," which was canceled because of casting concerns.

A contemporary re-imagining of Dr. Seuss, "Seussical" weaves together many of his most famous stories and characters. The score, created by Tony Award-winners Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty ("Ragtime" and "Once on This Island"), includes pop, gospel, blues and R&B.

"'Seussical' delivers a fun and heart-felt message through an exciting story," Hester said. "There's a kid-friendly element but on another level, it really appeals to adults – great music and clever storytelling."

Rehearsals will begin Aug. 27 with cast members working on scripts individually until then. All members of the "Aida" cast were included in the "Seussical" cast.

"I wanted to find a show that would offer training opportunities for students, that could include everyone who was cast in 'Aida' with comparable roles for the leads, and I wanted it to be a good fit for ACU's Centennial year," Hester said. "I e-mailed my students the announcement Tuesday night and have already received enthusiastic responses. I can't say enough about the maturity and selfless character of our theatre majors. Their exemplary attitudes have been an inspiration to me."

Music Theatre International, who holds the rights to "Aida," has been working with ACU on the musical change and the associated costs, Hester said.

"By producing 'Seussical,' a musical which MTI also manages, we're able to move all the expenses of 'Aida' over," Hester said. "MTI has been so accommodating in handling a great many details regarding the change at such a late date. The price of 'Seussical' will end up being comparable to 'Aida' excluding some return shipping costs and other cancellation charges."

ACU, a national leader in Christian higher education with 4,700 students from around the world, was founded Sept. 11, 1906. The university is celebrating its Centennial year from Aug. 22, 2005 to Sept. 11, 2006 with the theme "Called to Faith and Excellence."

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