“Seussical Jr.”: Jayan Raju loves all the dancing in the production

The Cat in the Hat and the Whos: L-to-R, Sidney McCray, Gabriella Sheets, Josie Archer, (center Cat) Jayan Raju, Lydia LaRue, Ryleigh Harris, and Grace Glazer. (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.

Jayan Raju, 11, plays The Cat In The Hat, who is the essence of mischief, fun, and imagination, a character who stirs things up, causes trouble, but always sets things right.

Raju’s family includes parents Jai and Jessica Raju, ans siblings Trenton Lytle, Gayatri Jainagaraj, and Patrik Ghosh. He is in the fifth grade and anjoys acting, swimming, reading, and eating sushi. In the future, Raju wants to be in “Hamilton,” and attend Michigan State University.

Jayan Raju as The Cat in the Hat. (PHOTO BY ALICIA RIDER)

A summer camp experience with Encore made Raju want to be in a production with the group.

In the past, Raju has played Jay Bird in “Honk Jr.,” the Scottish safety dog in “101 Dalmations Kids,” Mike Teavee in “Willy Wonka Kids,” and Marty in “Madagascar Jr.”

Raju’s inspiration? Lin Manuel Miranda. “I would like to be like him when I grow up,” he said.

His favorite part of the experience of being in the production is the dancing. “For sure,” he said.

The audience will be in for a production with “amazing characters, and a colorful story.”

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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