‘The SeussOdyssey,’ Broadway hits being staged at Trinity

First, they take you through “The Odyssey,” you see.

Then the Trinity Lutheran High School student actors switch from a twist with Dr. Seuss and get a little loose.

From “Be Our Guest” to “You Can’t Stop the Beat,” they present 15 songs from popular Broadway musicals, making you think deep or get up out of your seat.

This year, the Seymour school’s annual musical weekend coincides with a special opportunity through Music Theatre International called “All Together Now!”

Not only will Trinity present “The SeussOdyssey” from Friday to Sunday, but they also will be joining more than 2,500 schools and theaters around the globe in performing the free exclusive musical revue.

“It was kind of like the stars aligned that it worked out for us,” said Jayme Lowe, a language arts and drama teacher at Trinity who is directing this weekend’s shows with Leah Schneider.

She heard about “All Together Now!” through her college theater professor.

“He told me about it, and so I looked it up and it just seemed like a really cool opportunity,” she said. “The idea that lots of other schools and production companies all over the country and even the world are doing the same thing as us as a way to unite us after a year or so of theater being very different or even being canceled in a lot of ways (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), that’s why they put it together in the first place, that we are all together now in the theater.”

Shows are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in the commons at the school.

“The SeussOdyssey” is perfect for Trinity because Lowe teaches freshmen “The Odyssey,” a 1614 epic poem by Homer, and many of the students grew up reading Dr. Seuss stories.

“I was able to rearrange the freshman curriculum so we’re reading ‘The Odyssey’ right now, so at least when they come to the show, they can know what’s going on,” Lowe said. “It’s also a story that I was really familiar with and that all of the kids at the school read, so it’s one we’re familiar with, but it gets a new spin.”

In the epic poem, Odysseus relies on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces during his 10-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War.

Lowe said she has done a Seussified show before, so she brings that experience to this unique musical.

“We had a lot of success last year during the variety show with our literary twist skits that we did, so I wanted to go down that same path,” she said of choosing this year’s musical. “It was quirky enough and I thought the kids would get a kick out of it, and they do. They have a lot of fun with the jokes in it.”

She also likes how the students have been able to take ownership in the show, from choreography to costumes to directing.

As student directors, seniors Addison Bumbleburg and Kaitlynn Rowe have gained experience in not only acting but also costuming, helping paint the set, working on tickets, programs and posters and designing T-shirts.

Bumbleburg also plays a heavy role in the Broadway revue, being a part of all 15 ensemble numbers and singing solo for one of them.

“It is a really neat opportunity,” she said. “It has definitely given me a lot of experience learning all of the different ropes to what it takes to put on a production and just how stressful it really can be. It’s tough to take on all of that.”

Senior Hannah Kerkhof and her brother, sophomore Drew Kerkhof, narrate “The SeussOdyssey.”

Hannah said she also was part of a Seuss show at Jackson County Community Theatre in Brownstown, but she likes the vibe of Trinity’s production because everything is different than normal.

“I like that it’s more relaxed and it’s kind of goofy,” she said. “I feel like the actors are having a lot of fun getting into their characters, and it’s not as serious or deep as shows that we’ve done in the past, for sure.”

Junior Adam Everroad said he likes how the show appeals to all ages since a lot of people grew up reading Dr. Seuss and it’s a different spin on the epic poem. He plays the roles of Cyclops and one of the suitors.

“It’s fun to be dressed up in those different types of costumes, and it’s just a fun show,” he said.

For “All Together Now!” Kerkhof said it’s great knowing Trinity is a part of something being done at many other places around the world at the same time.

“I think that’s super cool because it really just shows how we appreciate theater and everyone around the country is doing it,” she said. “Everyone is getting back into doing theater now that COVID is dying down, and I think that’s really important. It brings people together, like all together now. A lot of the songs are about coming together and overcoming challenges and stuff like that, so I think that’s pretty neat.”

Like the musical, Everroad likes portraying different characters and wearing various costumes in the revue.

“That’s my favorite part because you get to do all of those songs, some of them that you’ve had as favorites for a while, and you just get to perform them and then just dress up as characters that you’ve grown to love,” he said.

Kerkhof said she hopes the audience appreciates the contrast from the musical to the revue and the contrast within the show itself.

“From the goofiness of ‘The SeussOdyssey’ to some of the deepness of the songs, like ‘Astonishing’ and ‘Children Will Listen,’ they actually have really deep, powerful meanings,” she said. “And also, if you have a favorite musical, we probably have a song from it here, so that’s pretty cool, too.”

If you go 

What: Trinity Lutheran High School’s production of “The SeussOdyssey” and “All Together Now!”

When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday

Where: Commons at the school, 7120 N. County Road 875E, Seymour

Tickets: $10 (available by calling 812-524-8547)

Directors: Jayme Lowe and Leah Schneider

Student directors: Addison Bumbleburg and Kaitlynn Rowe

Cast: Bridget Bingham, Carson Bowling, Cole Brewer, Addison Bumbleburg, Matthew Cobb, Hope Cockerham, Joshua Conrad, Conner Covey, Samantha Enzinger, Adam Everroad, Will Gausmann, Drew Hubbard, Madison Jenkins, Drew Kerkhof, Hannah Kerkhof, Prader Kiel, Riley Lawles, Sarah Lemming, Mya Lindroth, Paige McCammon, Kaelyn Miller, Dianna Muñoz, Benjamin Neawedde, Connor Nichols, Kaitlynn Rowe, Kennedy Royalty, Ally Russell, Chase Sawyer, Mallory Shoemaker, Evan Shuler, Abigail Whitmore, Kathryn Whitmore and Delaney Williams