Carmen Pushman plays Mayzie La Bird, a sassy, vain character who learns to do the right thing in the end in Hartland Encore Youth Theater’s production of “Seussical Jr.”
Pushman, 12, a seventh-grade student at Hartland’s Ore Creek Middle School, is the daughter of Michelle and Adam Pushman. She has two brothers: William, 8, and Layton, 7, who is a Who and a fish in the play. She began performing at age 5, and joined the Hartland Encore Youth Theater at age 8. It was then that she says she “fell in love” with her theater group/family.
While she’s had roles in over 20 theatrical productions, including Chip in “Beauty and the Beast,” Lucy in “Charlie Brown Christmas,” “Annie,” Cruella De Ville in “101 Dalmations,” she says her new favorite is role is as Mayzie La Bird in “Seussical Jr.”
“This show in particular is a lot of fun,” Pushman said. “It is very colorful, with lots of dance numbers and singing.”
Her inspiration for Mayzie is student director Scottie Bell.
“She has a diva-icious personality, and has that level of sass that Mayzie has,” Pushman said.
She also names comedienne Carol Burnett as another inspiration. “She’s iconic with a capital I,” Pushman said, “and one of my biggest theater role models ever.”
Theater, singing, playing the guitar and ukulele, song writing, art, skiing, and hanging with her theater friends keep Pushman busy as she eyes attending Michigan State University to study business before opening her own theater and/or interior design company.
For now, though, Pushman is enjoying playing Mayzie La Bird.
“My favorite part of the production is getting to play such vivacious and different character than I have ever played before,” she said. “I love getting to be super sassy.”
And she promises a good time for audience members.
“Expect to see talented young kids doing what they love,” Pushman said. “It’s a colorful, fun show full of dancing and singing that everyone can love.”
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.