By: Margaret Butler
“Why do you sit there like that?” Cat asks. “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny!”
Playful, encouraging, and slightly mischievous, Traysie Amick exemplifies her starring role as the Cat in Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat, which returns to the stage at South Carolina Children’s Theatre March 4-13. Amick has been playing Cat since 1999 when she first joined the team at SCCT. Since then, she has revived the role in 20 Character Breakfasts, the 1st Annual Characters in Concert, and SCCT’s 2015 production. It’s safe to say, Amick balances lots of hats, and not just the classic red-and-white-striped one! Simultaneously, Amick teaches and mentors hundreds of students per year through SCCT’s Theatre Conservatory and Outreach programs. She personifies the Cat’s best qualities onstage and off.
Amick admits that she does her best work in this show. Her love for her students emanates throughout her performance. Years of photographs prove that. “I met so many of my now-students at the Character Breakfast as the Cat in the Hat. Parents today will bring cherished pictures of the tiny version of their child with me as Cat. Though the makeup looks a little different now over 20 years,” Amick quips.
Amick feels a deep level of responsibility for the upcoming production of The Cat in the Hat. Two key artistic creatives involved in the last 2015 production, SCCT Teaching Artist Jason Bryant and Prop and Set Designer Kim Granner, have since passed. These losses were profound for SCCT. Each creative brought a key component to crafting the magic of the show. Kim had a hand in every single prop or set piece and Jason’s talent brought the Fish to life. “Knowing that we had lost Jason and Kim, it was hard to say ‘yes’ to doing the show again, but I took it as an opportunity to light a candle for these brilliant artists,” says Amick.
Beyond the theatre’s great love and history with the production, audiences may wonder: can Dr. Seuss’s treasured illustrations, rhythm, and rhyme leap off the pages into reality? The answer is yes. With cartoon sound effects, magically appearing objects, pantomime, and sleight of hand, kids will be at the edge of their seats as they watch this beloved children’s book come to life.
Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat runs at South Carolina Children’s Theatre from March 4th – 13th with showtimes at 10:30 am, 2:00 pm, 4:30 pm, and 7:00 pm. Tickets are $20. Box office: 864-235-2885 or scchildrenstheatre.org