Downriver youth theaters offer ‘Seussical the Musical,’ ‘Twelve Angry Jurors’

Photo by Sue Suchyta
The Downriver Actors Guild of Wyandotte presents “Seussical the Musical” for two weekends, Aug. 9 to 17, with Chad Schultze (left), 18, of Grosse Ille Township as the Cat in the Hat and Josh Primeau, 11, of Brownstown Township as Jojo. For tickets or more information, call 313-303-5269 or go to

Two Downriver theaters spotlight young actors in early August: The Downriver Actors Guild in Wyandotte presents “Seussical the Musical” and the Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center in Trenton presents “Twelve Angry Jurors.”

Horton, the Cat in the Hat and amazing Mayzie are just a few of the Dr. Seuss characters brought to life with bright costumes, upbeat music and a fast-paced story at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 8, 9, 15 and 16, and 3 p.m. Aug. 10 and 17 at the Downriver Actors Guild Theater on the Avenue, 2656 Biddle in Wyandotte.

All seats are $10. For tickets, call 313-303-5269 or go to

Directed by Deborah Aue, the show features musical direction by Wendy Fichter and choreography by Kayla Aue.

Deborah Aue said “Seussical” is fun for the entire family because it takes the story of “Horton Hears a Who!” and adds characters from other Dr. Seuss stories.

“It creates this hour-and-45-minute journey through Dr. Seuss’ world of wacky characters, bright colors, lively music and fun dancing,” she said. “It’s an extremely entertaining show. There is no way that anybody could get bored.”

She said most of the show is songs, the content is family-friendly, and since the cast of 60 children range from age 8 to 18, children in the audience can relate to them.

Kayla Chavez, 14, of Allen Park, who plays a Bird Girl, said the musical is fun for children, and it reminds people to be kind to each other.

“It is definitely unique because it has colors and crazy characters,” Chavez said. “It is mostly songs, so they don’t have to listen to a lot of talking. They have characters that they will recognize. It is just fun overall.”

Josh Primeau, 11, of Brownstown Township, who plays Jojo, said it is a fun, kid-friendly show.

“It is whimsical,” Primeau said. “If you have a great imagination, you should come to the show.”

Mitchell Sturm, 16, of Taylor, who plays a Wickersham Brother, said the show appeals to all ages, and it contains characters from many popular Dr. Seuss books.

“It keeps everyone entertained no matter how old or how young you are,” Sturm said. “Even as an adult, when you bring your kids, (adults) will have fun, and the kids will have a ton of fun, because they are going to be pulled in because their favorite books are being brought to life on a stage.”

Two graduated seniors in the cast, who will study musical theater at New York University in the fall, are Peyton Bias, 18, of Southgate, who plays Gertrude, and Chad Schultze, 18, of Grosse Ile Township, who plays the Cat in the Hat.

Three Bird Girls are played by Chavez; Kayla Smith, 17, of New Boston; and Jessalyn Sturm, 15, of Taylor.

Dana Pasiwk, 16, of Dundee plays the Sour Kangeroo, with Taylor residents Jacob Partrich, 17, as Horton and Kayla Nagy, 18, as Mayzie LaBird.

The Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center presents “Twelve Angry Jurors” at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the Trenton Village Theater, 2447 W. Jefferson in Trenton.

Tickets are $7, and are available at the door and online, at Call 734-771-7945 with ticketing questions.

Based on the movie “Twelve Angry Men” by Reginald Rose, and adapted by Sherman Sergel, the DYPAC production features four boys and 10 girls in the cast.

Twelve jurors must reach a unanimous verdict in a murder trial without letting their personal prejudice affect their judgment. The case is not as easy as it seems, and tempers flare during deliberations.

Sarah Hollon of Trenton plays the jury foreman, with the other jurors played by Zack Yeager of Brownstown Township; Ally and Sydney Balan of Flat Rock; Elizabeth Callihan and Tabitha Koronka of Grosse Ile Township; Lexi Nadolsky of Southgate; Avery Pautuk of Trenton; Sophia Abbott, Makena Shell and Gabrielle Weil of Woodhaven; and Tiffany Nguyen of Wyandotte.

Grosse Ile residents Clyde Granzeier and Bailey Shaver play the bailiff and judge, respectively.

Prior to the play, Granzeier and Shaver play Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in the famous baseball routine “Who’s on First.”

The 14th season of the Waterworks Theater Company presents Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and at 5 p.m. Sunday in Starr Jaycee Park, 1301 W. 13 Mile Road in Royal Oak.

They also present the comedy “The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged)” at 7 p.m. Wednesday and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the park.

“Hamlet” tickets are $20, and “Complete Works” tickets are $10. For more information, go to

The Motor City Youth Theatre holds placement auditions for children 8 to 18 on Aug. 28 by appointment at the Motor City Theatre, 27555 Grantland in Livonia.

Youth auditioning should prepare one 30-second or two 15-second monologues to demonstrate their memorization, character interpretation and stage presence skills.

Trained actors, directors and certified teachers provide instruction using the techniques of Viola Spolin and Konstantin Stanislavsky.

Classes are five to 10 students in size and run Friday evenings Sept. 5 to Oct. 17, with an $80 fee for MCT members and a $100 fee for non-members.

A non-audition class for children ages 6 and 7 will emphasize acting out stories, playing movement games and learning nursery rhymes and poems. Cost is $50 for MCT members and $65 for non-members.

Contact Nancy Florkowski at 586 894-8628 or at for more information.