You’ll wish your pet was as talented as the wacky, multitalented canines of Go Dog Go!, a Wirtz show onstage now. They ride a Ferris wheel, snorkel, drive and dance. Based on the book by P. D. Eastman, who was a student of Dr. Seuss, the show is part of the Imagine U series that focuses its productions especially toward children.
However, Communication sophomore Cary Jones, the assistant director, says Go Dog Go! is not just for kids. NBN spoke with him on opening night to find out more about dogs driving cars, his favorite Dr. Seuss book and a day in the life of an assistant director.
NBN: Could you just run through the plot of Go Dog Go! for me in 30 seconds?
Jones: Basically, the dogs all come onstage, and they work and they play and they eat lunch. They go to sleep and they get up the next day and all get into their cars to go to the big tree. I’m going to leave what’s on the tree a surprise for the end, but that’s the quick and dirty of it. Lot of play, lot of fun stuff happening.
NBN: What’s a typical day for you like, as the assistant director?
Jones: So, basically, I would arrive wherever we’re having rehearsal, help set anything up if anything needs to be set up, help the stage manager out if he needed help. And then once Gina [Marie Hayes, the director] got there, basically doing anything they needed me to do – from if one of the actors was missing, stepping in for the day, or taking notes, or looking at the stage from a different angle to give them feedback on how it looked, or if Gina was stuck with something, helping them come up with the choreography, or if a moment wasn’t working, helping them figure it out. So really, I didn’t know what I was going to do till I got there.
NBN: Do you have a favorite part of Go Dog Go!?
Jones: Besides the whole thing? Probably all the driving around in cars that happens.
NBN: How does that happen on stage?
Jones: We use a combination of miming and scooter boards to create cars, which was a really great challenge to figure out how to do that and how to implement the choreography we created on the scooter boards. So that would probably be my favorite part of the show.
NBN: Sounds wild.
Jones: Yeah, it’s crazy. It’s a lot of fun though. Tonight, all the kids were laughing and pointing and wanted to get up there with them, so it was a success.
NBN: Do you expect that most of the audience members for the show are going to be kids?
Jones: Probably, going here on out, kids with their parents. Tonight we had a decent amount of Northwestern students. I hope as many Northwestern students come see it as possible because it’s really – you know, we say “theater for young audiences,” but really, it’s theater for all audiences.
I’ve been working on the show since February, and I’m still laughing and enjoying every minute of it. And I was sitting next to a bunch of adults who came to watch their daughter who was in the show, and they were all laughing their heads off the whole time. So I think it’s mostly going to be kids and their parents, but really everyone should – it’s for everyone.
NBN: What is your favorite dog in Go Dog Go!?
Jones: Ugh, no, I can’t pick favorites. Oh, God. They’re all equally wonderful in their own way. Is that allowed?
NBN: And final question: What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book?
Jones: Dr. Seuss book? Hmm. Probably Bartholomew Cubbins and the 500 Hats. It was a great book.
Editor's note: This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.