“Seussical Jr.”: Addison Payne gains inspiration from student directors

Gertrude and the animals: L to R, Paige Reck, Ella Whitson, Gabby Giorgio, (center Gertrude) Addison Payne, Andrew McDonald, and Ava Whitson. (PHOTO BY ALICIA RIDER)

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The Hartland Players’ Encore Youth Theater’s production of “Seussical Jr.” takes the stage March 9-10. All this week, we are introducing you to members of the production.

Addison Payne, 11, plays Gertrude McFuzz, a self-conscious bird who is aware that her one tail feather isn’t perfect who learns to stop worrying about her looks.

A sixth-grader at Maltby Intermediate School in Brighton, Payne is the daughter of Jennifer and Brian Payne, and she has a little sister named Charlotte. She loves singing, acting, and hanging out with her friends, and she plans to become an actress or go to college for engineering. She’s active in musical theater, dance, singing, Girl Scouts, and school leadership.

Addision Payne plays Gertrude McFuzz. (PHOTO BY ALICIA RIDER)

Payne has has been involved with Hartland Encore since September 2017, and she’s played the title role in “Annie,” as well as Trixie in “Drac’s Back,” Sally in “Charlie Brown Christmas,” as well as a chimney sweep/ensemble in “Mary Poppins Jr.” She’s also been involved with choir and theater shows at school, too.

Inspiring her are the student directors she’s worked with: Scottie Bell, Josh Archer, and Jaclyn Ellis.

“They are so fun, nice, talented, and have all taught me so much,” Payne said. “I have been to their high school productions, and I can’t wait to hopefully be part of something similar one day. I also want to be a student director/mentor just like them.”

Payne enjoys working on “Suessical Jr.,” especially learning new musical theater skills from the directing team.

“My favorite of the experience is working with the cast and seeing how the show all comes together at the very end,” she said.

The audience can expect to see an “amazing and fun show,” according to Payne.

“The dancing, the singing, the costumes, the makeup, and the set are truly awesome,” she said. “I hope everyone enjoys the show; we have all worked so hard.”

The Hartland Players’ Encore Youth Theater is presenting “Seussical Jr.,” a musical based on the children’s stories of Dr. Seuss.

Performances are set for 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9, 2019, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 10, 2019, at the Hartland Performing Arts Center, 9525 E. Highland Road. Tickets, available at the Cromaine Library or online at www.hartlandplayers.org, are $8 for adults, and $6 for students and seniors.


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