Approximate run time: 2 hours, including a 15-minute intermission
Run time and other details are subject to change during rehearsal process.
Children’s Theatre Company and The Old Globe in partnership with The Old Vic Present
Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax
Based on the book The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
Adapted for the stage by David Greig
Music and lyrics by Charlie Fink
Directed by Max Webster
Choreography by Drew McOnie
Music Direction by Victor Zupanc
Puppet Direction by Finn Caldwell for Gyre & Gimble
Scenic and Costume Design by Rob Howell
A U.S. Premiere by Children’s Theatre Company
Best enjoyed by everyone
The silky soft tufts of the Truffula Trees are the perfect stuffs to knit the perfect Thneeds. But the first chop, chop of the perilous ax, begins the powerful tale of Dr. Seuss's The Lorax. When the last tree of the forest falls, was it worth losing paradise for nothing at all? The most beloved environmental tale of all time, The Lorax will have you singing in Seussian rhyme!
About The Old Globe
The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional regional theatres and has stood as San Diego’s flagship arts institution for over 80 years. Under the leadership of Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, both part of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 605-seat outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theatre’s artistic and arts engagement programs. Numerous world premieres such as the 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bright Star, Allegiance, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and the annual holiday musical Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas! have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.
About The Old Vic
The Old Vic, under Artistic Director Matthew Warchus, is a place that encourages a new love of theatre, as well as offering a refreshing experience to those who keep coming back for more. It is a theatre steeped in tradition yet still innovating and making history today through a huge variety of output on and off stage which grabs the imagination of the broadest range of people. The Old Vic works with over 10,000 people of all ages and backgrounds each year to unlock creative intelligence through school projects, employability schemes and community engagement.
Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax is a musical performed by a large cast with a live orchestra. Set, costumes, and props are elaborate. This production was created in collaboration with the Dr. Seuss Estate and The Old Vic in London, England.
This production takes place on the United Health Group Stage and seats up to 745 people.
Approximate run time: 2 hours including intermission
Run time and other details are subject to change during rehearsal process.
written by Elissa Adams, Director of New Play Development
Be warned: This is a complete synopsis of the play, so it is full of spoilers.
The cast of the play enters and tells the audience about the Once Happy Oncler, a reclusive man who lives on a dark street in town. In front of his house is a crumbling statue, at the base of which is written the words “Unless.” and “Here Stood the Lorax.” The cast pleads with the Onceler to explain the mysterious words. He begins to tell them his story.....When the Onceler was a child, he lived with his family, who owned a moof muffering mill. They dug moof out of the ground and sold it. It was steady work but never made much money. The young Onceler never fit in with his family or his moof muffering neighbors. He was always dreaming up fantastic inventions and wondering if there was something more to life that mining moof. Then came a day when his family, tired of his questions and his general dreaminess, sent him off into the world to make his own way. The Onceler strikes out on his own, full of optimism, taking with him only a set of knitting needles given to him by his granny. On the road, the Onceler and his donkey see a beautiful bird fly overhead and decide to follow it. The bird leads them into a beautiful valley populated by extraordinary trees called Truffala trees. The Onceler is enchanted by the beauty of the trees and, struck by the softness and lightness of the Truffala tufts, begins to knit them (using his granny's knitting needles) into a fantastic fabric/shape he calls a thneed. Wanting to reach the tufts at the very top of one of the Truffala trees, the Onceler chops the tree down. Instantly, there appears a strange creature—the Lorax. The Lorax is the Protectorate of the beautiful valley and, in particular, of the Truffala trees. He demands that the Onceler stop chopping. The Onceler explains to the Lorax that his future depends on being able to make and sell the thneeds he makes from the Truffla tufts. The Lorax gives the Onceler a tour of the beautiful valley, showing him that it is a perfectly sustained ecosystem of plants and animals and that the Onceler, should he choose to stay in the valley, will have everything he needs and therefore no reason to chop down Truffala trees and make thneeds. The Onceler is won over. He decides to stay in the valley and soon he and the Lorax are great friends. One day, when the Lorax has to leave the valley to go care for other Truffalo trees, the Onceler promises to stay and protect the Truffalo trees in the beautiful valley and the Lorax flies away. But soon, a business man comes to the valley and convinces the Onceler that he could become very rich if he made and sold his thneeds. The Onceler convinces himself that he can make money and still take care of the trees-what harm can come of harvesting a few tufts? But, pretty soon, the thneed business begins to grow, the Onceler's family moves to the beautiful valley and sets up a thneed knitting factory and more and more Truffalo trees are stripped bare. And then the Lorax returns for a visit. When he sees the devastation that has occurred in the beautiful valley—hardly any trees are left!-he is infuriated and saddened and confronts the now-rich Onceler. The Onceler promises the Lorax that he will set up a protected place where no more Truffala trees will be chopped down. But, as the market forr thneeds expands, and the Onceler gets caught up in the acclaim he receives for having become such an important business man, he sacrifices the trees he promised the Lorax he would save, and convinces himself and the people around him that they have no need for nature. The Lorax and the animals who once made their home in the beautiful valley protest in front of the Onceler's giant thneed-making factory but they are no match for the tv crews and crowds who have come to report on the Onceler's great enterprise. One day, the Onceler, missing his friend, the Lorax, hikes into the valley in search of him. He finds the Lorax packing up to leave. There are no more animals, no more trees for him to take care of. Sitting with the Lorax, the Onceler begins to see the havoc he has wreaked. As they two sit there, the Onceler's workers cut down the very last Truffala tree. Unable to bear what he has done to his friend the Lorax and to the beautiful valley he once loved, and no longer able to run his business without any Truffala trees, the Onceler becomes the recluse we have met at the beginning of the play. As he finishes telling his story to the cast, one of them finds a small seed and suggests that the Onceler help him plant it. The Onceler says it's no use—every seed needs a Lorax to protect it and help it grow. But the cast member goes ahead and plants the seed. And a couple of them sit by it through the night. And the next morning, a small shoot appears! The cast rushes to find the Onceler, who seeing the small shoot, resolves to protect the little tree and encourages the cast and the audience to plant trees and do the same.
Content Advisories: (subject to change as the production goes into rehearsal)
Language: 2 out of 5
Silly and made up language in the style of Dr. Seuss. "Hell" and "Jerk" as well as bathroom humor are used.
Themes and Situations: 2 out of 5
All of the truffula trees are cut down. A swan dies. Animals get sick. Once-ler uses the word flask but releals a thermos.
Violence & Scariness: 3 out of 5
The Once-ler is seen as only glowing eyes and green hands. The Super Ax Hacker is large and can be intimidating. It is driven by dancers wearing masks who can be intimidating. Once-ler pushes Lorax. Animals hit Once-ler with signs. Once-ler slaps a narrator twice.
Sensory Advisories: 3 out of 5
The Super Ax Hacker looks like a giant motorcycle that is used to chop down trees. It drives towards the audience and the headlight is shown into the audience. Actors come into the audience. Puppet birds fly above the audience. Once-ler throws a handful of candy into the audience. Stobe lights, sirens and heavy fog are used. Tree chopping, factory noises and musical numbers can be loud.
Potentially Anxious Moments: 3 out of 5
Trees are chopped down by the Super Ax Hacker, the Once-ler appears as glowing eyes and green hands.