“Seussical Jr.”: Tommy Persons says audiences will be surprised

L-to-R, Horton and the Wickershams: Jack Oelslager, Gracie Sheets, Avery Shrier, (center Horton) Tommy Persons, Julie Ross, Nancy Ross, Andrea Arnold, and Mason Gay. (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.

Tommy Persons as Horton. (PHOTO BY ALICIA RIDER)

Tommy Persons, 14, plays Horton in “Seussical Jr.” He’s the son of Sabina and Andy Persons; he has an older brother, Samuel, and an older sister, Anabel.

The eighth-grader is active in theater and marching band. He also like to read, and play board and video games, including Warhammer 40,000.

He’d also like to become the next Benedict Cumberbatch, and he’s racking up an impressive number of performances: He’s played Aat in “Tut Tut,” Bombur in “The Hobbit,” Scar in “The Lion King Jr.,” the captain of the guard in “Shrek Jr.,” Earthworm in “James and the Giant Peach Jr.,” Mr. Banks in “Mary Poppins,” Dracula in “Drac’s Back,” as well as in the ensemble for “Annie” and “Grease,” as well as in two school plays.

Persons got involved with this production of “Seussical Jr.” after hearing people talk about it during the last production he was in.

“I was intrigued,” Persons said.

His inspiration? “My sister,” he said. “She got me into theater, and she shows such a level of perseverance and enthusiasm that I can’t help but be inspired.”

Persons’s favorite part of the “Seussical Jr.” experience is how friendly and helpful everyone in the production is, and he said the songs are “very fun to learn and perform.”

“(The audience) can expect to see a group of young, very talented kids performing their best,” he said. “I do believe they will be pleasantly surprised.”

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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