A Play is a Play, No Matter How Small

A paper for Theatre class

A person is a person, no matter how small”. That line is taken out of Seussical, and I feel that I can apply it not only as the theme of the play it applies to my reaction to the play as well. I watched it with my family on December 10, 2011 in the OnStage theatre in Greenbelt 1. It was a production of Repertory Philippines. My version of the line (for my reaction) however would be “a play is a play, no matter how small” because it was a musical meant for young audiences but despite this, I was able to appreciate the musical.

I went in there not knowing what to expect because I have never seen a musical in my life before, except Cats which I practically slept through the whole time. This time, when I got in the theatre, I was pretty late and it had just started. I decided to give it a chance and later on I would find out that it was actually worth my time. I was thankful for the opportunity I had to be on the front-most row and see everything that was happening very clearly.

I thought it was a good play. There were characters that were animals but they did not use props to make them look like animals. For instance, Horton the elephant was just an ordinary male with a hat like that of the hunters—those which have pieces on the side that look like elephant ears. The gray color of the hat added to the elephant ears effect. He also had a “snout”; a scarf worn not to make it dangle from his nose but worn as an ordinary scarf. Aside from the costume, he would walk slowly as if to impersonate a real elephant. Gertrude McFuzz’s costume also helped in her characterization. She was in a white dress and her “single feather tail” was as plain as it could get—compared to her other bird counterparts at least. Her character was supposed to be a little bird that had a little crush on Norton but would never get noticed by him because she and her tail were tiny. Her other bird counterparts however had very colorful feathers that were easily noticed by anyone.

The plot of the musical was also another very interesting part of it. Seussical was about an elephant who wanted to guard the little people. These people are so tiny that they cannot be seen by the naked eye. In the play they were portrayed as “dust” and they lived in a kind of flower which Norton the elephant would carry around because he promised them that he would take care of that flower, thus keeping their world safe. Throughout the story, there was this bird Gertrude McFuzz who had a huge crush on Horton the elephant. The problem was, no matter what happened, he would never notice her. It was no mystery as to why he would never notice her because bird, no matter how big, will be puny when put side by side with an elephant. Not only was the size a problem, but also the physical appearance. She was plain white with a tiny feather, making it really virtually impossible for the elephant to notice her.

I liked the plot because it conveyed a very beautiful message which was “a person is a person, no matter how small”. Even if the people living in the flower and the bird were just tiny and probably negligible in the eyes of the bigger world, an elephant, one of the biggest creatures in the world still gave his attention to them. At first they were unnoticeable but he was the first to notice them and eventually care for them. The world today needs more people like the elephant in the play. If everyone cared about the simple things in life, the world would be a much better place because as cliché as it sounds, big changes do start with the little things in life.

I loved the play and because of this play I got interested in theatre. Maybe not as an actor but at least I would like to watch more plays in the future because I realized that theatre is beautiful. It is fun and very entertaining. Movies are always there but it is the reality of theatre that makes it so beautiful. Anything can happen in a movie but if something out of the ordinary happens in theatre, I would have been there to see it and in this musical I felt it. I found myself singing the songs in my head days after seeing the play and I was reminded of one of the many important lessons in life. It did not matter as to what or who the play was meant for, it struck me and I was very thankful for it. Indeed a play is a play, no matter how small.


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