Kat Claypool, dressed as the Cat in the Hat, is supported by her fellow classmates in the Master of Business Administration and Leadership program at the University of Charleston. Michael Waseleski (from left), Vincent Centofanti, Justin Avery, Joseph Youssef and Adam Hintz will star alongside Claypool in a leadership production based on Dr. Seuss tales Wednesday at UC.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A group of graduate students at the University of Charleston are acting out scenes from children's books to teach others about business and leadership -- and their grade depends on it.
Students in UC's Master of Business Administration and Leadership program need 150 people to attend their performance of "UC Seuss Sees" on Wednesday.
The production uses a compilation of scenes from Dr. Seuss' books "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "The Sneetches" to help the play's main character -- a beleaguered businessman -- become a successful leader.
Eleven students were charged with writing and performing the production, as well as everything from marketing and staging.
David Luechauer, coordinator of the MBAL program, had assigned this unique project to students at other universities before he came to work at UC. Luechauer said that while it's untraditional, it's effective.
"This, as you can imagine, is a very innovative assignment not traditionally asked of most MBA students. They learn a great deal about the process of leadership, change, group dynamics and community connections," Luechauer said. "They are excited to share these insights in a most creative format."
Adam Hintz, a UC student from Toronto who is involved in the play, said the students based the production on three main concepts they've learned throughout the program: communication, effectiveness vs. efficiency, and self-awareness.
"In the Grinch's story, the Grinch ultimately became self-aware of his thoughts. He was this angry person at first, but once he realized being nice feels a lot better, he changed," Hintz said. "In class, we talk about how being more self-conscious of your decisions makes you feel a whole lot better."
Hintz said the group has worked hard to make the production entertaining for all ages by taking leadership and business advice for adults and using it in a fun format attractive to children.
But he admits the project has forced him out of his comfort zone.
"It's definitely not something we thought we'd have to do," Hintz said. "But we've learned to not take ourselves too seriously. We're pretty much ready to do this and do it the best we can."
"UC Seuss Sees" will show Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the Geary Auditorium at Riggleman Hall. The show is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.fb.com/ucseusssees
Reach Mackenzie Mays at email@example.com or 304-348-4814.