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1/23/2013 3:01:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Photo by Kacie Thrift
The cast of the all district musical “Seussical” performed “Oh the Thinks You Can Think” for the Vale second graders as part of their educational impact project. This year, the cast sang a song to get the second graders imaginations going for the creative project.
'Seussical' cast gets creative with Vale second graders
Kacie Thrift
Staff Writer

Each year, the cast from the high school musical gets together and works on an educational impact project to incorporate the theme of the current musical as an educational piece for the second graders at Vale.

This year the musical is district-wide, a first for the Cashmere drama department. On the morning of Jan. 18, 48 seventh through 12th graders of the "Seussical" cast and crew ventured down to the Vale cafeteria to create an imagination land. Second graders filed in to the cafeteria and took their seats as the lead characters of the cast were announced.

The music began and the cast members sang and danced to one of the songs in the musical, "Oh the Thinks You Can Think." As the second graders became excited their imaginations started to flutter when Susan Gubsch, musical director and drama teacher, explained the project they would be doing.

There is no art specialist this year so Gubsch decided to think of an educational impact project where the second graders could use their project in the production.

"We are using our imaginations and creating murals of the imaginary world of Solla Sollew," Gubsch said. "We thought it would be a fun thing to have them do this and then use their art for the show."

On the days of the show, the murals will be hung in the lobby as decoration while people wait in line for their tickets or hang out during intermission.

After the cast sang and danced to their song, each member of the cast or crew partnered up with a second grader and invited them to use their imagination with construction paper, markers, and crayons. The pictures drawn ranged from colorful trees, creatures, and wacky vehicles.

After the second grade students finished up their drawings, they pasted them onto the mural. Then the seventh through 12th graders read to their second grade partner a Dr. Seuss book.

"Its important to mix education with the musical. Its important for the little ones to see part of the musical and this promotes the visual arts and the arts in general in our school," Gubsch said. "Gets kids excited to be in the plays in the future. The high school kids were just as excited as the little kids this morning."

For the past two years, the Cashmere Drama Department has won the Educational Impact Award from The Fifth Avenue Theatre. Last year, for "Singing in the Rain" the cast put on an assembly and focused on dance education. In 2011, the cast focused on reading because Bell in "Beauty and the Beast" loves to read.

This year's project is the first time the second grade students are able to have their work involved in the musical.

"I applaud Fifth Avenue for doing this. It teaches the young students you can be a part of something and it doesn't have to be sports," said senior Shelby Simonson, who plays Mrs. Mayor of Whoville. "Its important because we don't use our imagination as much as we could because we have technology at our fingertips. It's cool because they get to use their imagination and think what they want to without having that technology in front of them. This lets them be a part of it, and it makes them feel special."

Gubsch said each year she thinks of a project to do for educational impact that can be intertwined with the theme of the upcoming musical. This year she wanted to focus on imagination since it is such a big part of the theme. Gubsch works with Vale second grade teacher Ginny Davidson to bounce ideas off her and discuss how the process will work.

Senior Cody Lippert, who is playing Horton the Elephant, has been working on props, poster ideas, and the educational impact project for his senior project.

"Mrs. Gubsch's wonderful idea but I helped promote some of the ideas for coming here and making murals but its all her. She is the main person to give kudos to," Lippert said.

To see the second graders' murals come to "Seussical the Musical" at the Cashmere Middle School Auditorium. The musical dates are Feb. 1-2 and 7-9.

Kacie Thrift may be reached at 782-3781 or

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