Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat
Everyone's favorite cat comes to mischievous life in this theatrical adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic.
Show Essentials
8
Roles
U
Rated
1
Act

Full Synopsis

The curtain rises to reveal the house of Boy, Sally and Mother. The bird in the tree sneezes, the thunder roars and the rain pours down.

Sally and Boy are stuck inside, as the sun refuses to shine and day turns to wet and cold. Sally and Boy are not happy with being stuck in the house but fear that they must resign to a life of sitting, sitting and more sitting!

As the children fall asleep from boredom, we meet Fish. Fish is swimming and splashing about in his bowl, dreaming of fanciful adventures with whales. Then, a whistle is sounded and something goes "bump." The children and Fish are startled! What could it be?

They come to find that it is the Cat in the Hat. He has arrived to bring fun back into their life. The Cat proclaims that he knows "some new tricks" and begins to play tennis in the house! After he has had enough, the Cat throws the racket away and rides a motorbike. When Cat crashes, though, the Fish warns Sally and Boy that the Cat is mischievous and that he should be gone immediately – Mother is out, and the house is no place for such games.

The Cat assures Fish that he should have no fear and insists that his tricks are not bad. Cat scoops up Fish and begins to juggle him as he stands on a ball... while reading a book... and holding an umbrella... and balancing a cup on his hat!

The Cat is not done with his fancy, new tricks; he has more to show Sally and Boy. Two kittens enter with a glorious cake, another cup and one more book! The Cat juggles all of these items, with Fish in tow. Sally and Boy are astonished by such a feat... but the Cat is not done! The Kittens enter with a toy ship and some milk.

"But that is not all!" exclaims the Cat. The Kittens enter one last time, carrying a third book, a rake and a fan. Miraculously, the Cat balances all of the objects while holding onto the Fish! When Cat tries to proclaim that there is still more to this amazing trick, he falls down and, down with him, tumble all of the things!

There is now a terrible mess. The Fish warns the children that Mother will not be happy when she returns, but Cat refuses to leave. He insists that he will show them another good game that he knows.

A big, red wooden box appears on stage. The Cat says that the game is called "fun in a box," and he begins to open it. Suddenly, Thing 1 and Thing 2 burst out of the box. The children are fascinated with these two, fast-moving creatures. Fish warns them not to shake hands with the Things!

Cat tells the children that Thing 1 and Thing 2 love to fly kites... in the house! The kites bump and bounce off of the walls, their mother's clothing and the furniture as the Things run about the house making a mess. Sally and Boy try to chase after, but they are too fast. Boy is dismayed by such chaos, and the Fish warns that Mother is on her way home.

In a desperate attempt to gain control, Boy grabs a net and chases down Thing 1 and 2. After an exhausting pursuit, he finally snags the creatures! It is now obvious to Cat that the children are not amused by his games. Feeling ashamed, the Cat leaves.

The children are sad for Cat, but the house is now a complete mess. What will they do? Just then, the Cat arrives on a large, cleaning-up machine! Cat scurries to fix the damage and clean his mess. He soon disappears with a tip of the hat.

Mother arrives. She asks the children, "Tell me. What did you do?" Sally and Boy have survived a day with the Cat in the Hat.

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Small (Up to 10 performers)
Cast Type: Children
Dance Requirements: None

Character Breakdown

Boy
Sally's brother. Curious and excitable, but responsible and cautious.
Gender: male
Age: 8 to 12
Sally
The Boy's sister. She is wide-eyed and very curious.
Gender: female
Age: 6 to 10
Cat
A showoff and in wild pursuit of fun. Mischievous and daring.
Gender: any
Age: 20 to 50
Fish
The family fish and parental figure of the story. Anxious, uptight, and sapient.
Gender: any
Age: 20 to 50
Kitten 1
One of the Cat's playful assistants. Can double as Thing 1.
Gender: any
Age: 20 to 50
Kitten 2
One of the Cat's playful assistants. Can double as Thing 2.
Gender: any
Age: 20 to 50
Thing 1
Part of the kite-flying duo that wreaks havoc on Boy and Sally's house.
Gender: any
Age: 20 to 50
Thing 2
Part of the kite-flying duo that wreaks havoc on Boy and Sally's house.
Gender: any
Age: 20 to 50
Mother (voiceover)
Boy and Sally's mother, who appears at the end of the story.
Gender: female
Age: 30 to 40
Full Song List
Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat: N/A: Play with Sound Effects

Show History

Inspiration

The Cat in the Hat was first published in 1957 as Dr. Seuss' second book for children. It marked the transition of Theodor Seuss Geisel from successful advertising executive and political cartoonist to world-famous illustrator and children's author. The curious and intricate rhyming found in Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat is still adored decades later, with over eleven million copies sold and more than twelve different languages in print.

Productions

Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat was adapted for the stage and originally directed by Katie Mitchell. Famous for her heavy and intense productions of great dramas, Mitchell said, "The impulse to do this show is just an act of love from me to my child. And through her, for other children. I want to share the idea of making things, and storytelling and theatre, with little people."

Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat played the National's Cottesloe Theatre in London from December 16, 2009, through January 18, 2010. The production then transferred to the Young Vic.

The Australian production of Dr. Seuss's The Cat in the Hat opened on December 29, 2012, and closed January 27, 2013. It was presented by Sydney Opera House, Andrew Kay and Garry Ginivan, in association with Singapore Repertory Theatre.

Cultural Influence

  • In 1998, Random House created and launched an entire book series based on the Cat and Thing 1 & 2 with The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library.
  • The story has been treated to numerous adaptations in animated media, film, literature and educational media over the last several decades,
  • The Cat in the Hat was made into a feature film in 2003, starring Mike Myers as the Cat and Dakota Fanning as Sally. It was considered a commercial success, grossing over $130 million worldwide. Following its success, Universal announced future plans to produce a CGI adaptation of the original book.

Trivia

  • Theodor Geisel first used the pen name, "Seuss," while studying at Dartmouth College.
  • Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated 44 books in his lifetime.

Critical Reaction

"A triumph... it's the Cat's whiskers!"
– The Times

"Transportingly delightful"
– Independent

"A slinky, witty treat of a children's show that deserves to have at least nine lives"
– Time Out

"I suspect this production will become a national institution."
– The Telegraph

Connect

Billing

Based on the book by Dr. Seuss

Requirements

Under the terms and conditions of your organisation’s Performance Agreement, the following credits must appear on all advertising (including websites) relating to the production. Credits must be reproduced faithfully in accordance with the following layout. No alterations or deletions can be permitted unless stated below.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
“You agree to bill the Play and the Owners in all programs (on the title page), houseboards, displays and in all advertising and all paid publicity, in the following manner:
 
DR. SEUSS' THE CAT IN THE HAT 100%
Based on the book by Dr. Seuss 50%
Play originally produced by
the National Theatre of Great Britain  50%
 
You also agree to provide the following credit on the title page of the program and wherever full production credits are given, under the National Theatre credit:
 
Adapted and originally directed by Katie Mitchell 25%
 
Dr. Seuss text, characters and images TM and © 2009 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. 15%
 
You also agree to provide the following credits in the staff/production credit section of all programs for your production of the play:
 
The National Theatre of Great Britain’s
production of THE CAT IN THE HAT
was originally created by:
 
Director                                 Katie Mitchell
Designer                              Vicki Mortimer
Lighting Designer                          Jon Clark
Music                                        Paul Clark
Sound Designer                          Gareth Fry
Movement Director                  Joseph Alford
Producer                             Pádraig Cusack
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited.

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
GUIDE VIDEO(S)1
PRODUCTION PACK1
SCRIPT10

Production Resources

Resource
LOGO PACK
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON-10/CS
HOW DOES THE SHOW GO ON?
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
PRODUCTIONPRO