Bloomfield Players Community Theatre returns in February with multiple Jewish cast members.

At East Hills Middle School in Bloomfield Hills on the night of Jan. 9, people from all ages gathered to rehearse their hopeful masterpiece just a few weeks from opening night.

The Bloomfield Players Community Theatre will be performing Feb. 3-5, 10 and 12, at Bloomfield Hills High School. This year’s play is Seussical — a musical comedy by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, based on the many children’s stories of Dr. Seuss.

Director Jessey Laba, music director Kate Philp, choreographer Valerie Mould and producers Jenn Friedman and Mary Bishop were all on hand as they prepared for the first Bloomfield Players production since the pandemic.

There are multiple Jewish actors in the play.


Stevie Ryke, a 13-year-old who belongs to Temple Shir Shalom in West Bloomfield, is playing Thing 1. “I’ve been doing this for a couple of years,” Stevie said. “I enjoy doing it.”

Before COVID, Ryke was in the ensemble for Under the Sea and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Siblings Charley and Evan Gross, a seventh-grader and fifth-grader respectively, are trying out theater for the first time. The siblings belong to Temple Israel in West Bloomfield.

“It’s fun meeting new people,” Evan said.

“It’s a new experience,” Charley added.

Nine-year-old Lillian Berg has five years of acting experience. Berg has acted in many other places, including doing plays at Camp Tamakwa and family camp.

Lillian believes acting could give her a good foundation for her true goal.

“When I grow up I want to be a singer, so I’ve devoted my whole life to becoming that, and acting is a big part of becoming a singer,” said Lillian, who belongs to Temple Beth El in Bloomfield Township.

“Being a Jew is very unique, in my opinion, and being able to act in a play, there’s many Jewish actors, and to be one of them, it’s very fun,” she said.

Eliza Frankel, 8, is in the ensemble and plays a jungle citizen, cadet, fish and hunter.

Alexa Oslund, 23, who is currently taking theater classes at Oakland Community College, started acting in middle school and is also a part of the ensemble for this play.

The show has 34 cast members drawn from all over the area.

“One of the things that sets us apart is we pride ourselves on having family-oriented theater,” said co-producer Mary Bishop. “We have five sets of families in the show.”

With their last show being in early 2020, there’s a lot of pent-up excitement for February.

“It was time to do it,” Bishop said. “I think that’s one of the reasons we chose Seussical. Because it’s so fun, lively, family-oriented and a little lighter, we felt it was good for the first show out of the gate.”

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