Can-Do Quartet: Musical 2017

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Emily Cooper

Before the last minute snackers and bathroom breakers had scrambled back to their seats, the harsh beam of a spotlight finds a Who named Jojo, played by sophomore Megan Walstrom, in the back of the auditorium. Her pigtails dance around her face as she sprints down the aisle to open Seussical the Musical.

She runs towards a box sitting on the stage when the Cat in the Hat, played by junior Grace Chisholm, pops out for a second grand entrance. The Cat greets Jojo for the first time on stage, but Chisholm and Walstrom had actually first met long before.

Almost six years prior and three shoe sizes smaller, the two first performed together in Stageright KC’s production of Bye Bye Birdy, followed by a junior rendition of Seussical. And then, two years after that, Chisholm and Walstrom took the stage again in Indian Hills Middle School’s production of Grease

“I did a lot of shows with Grace before, but Grease was definitely my favorite,” Walstrom said. “I really got to know her better and honestly the whole cast was super close and always had fun with it.” 

But Chisholm and Walstrom weren’t the only Seussical stars who had shared the spotlight before. 

Juniors Jackson Bush and Savannah Worthington, who play Horton and Mayzie in Seussical, also performed in Grease. The two played Danny and Sandy alongside Chisholm, who played Rizzo, and Walstrom, who played ChaCha.

Rehearsals every day after school and long Saturday run-throughs of the show formed a definite bond between the four actors. They were always laughing on stage, eating Goodcents between shows and even went to see another production of Grease together.

Now, years later, the four of them have found their way back on stage together. While their individual talent snagged them the leads in Seussical, their experience performing together would really make the difference. 

“It’s insane. Just seeing that original cast that I worked with just four years ago and the amount of talent they have added on top of their already existing talent is insane,” Bush said. “Working together in Grease definitely made a difference this year just because we were comfortable with each other and trusted each other on stage.”

Bush wasn’t the only one who thought that the actor’s connection helped their performance. Stage director and producer of Seussical Brian Capello, also agreed that the actor’s chemistry enhanced the show. 

“The more you work with people, the more familiar you become with how they approach things throughout the show,” Capello said. “They just all know each other and were clearly comfortable around each other and that really showed on stage.”

The four actors all pursued other interests outside of the auditorium, such as Drill Team and Harbinger, but their connection under the spotlight was always something that could bring them back together.