Shrek is coming: Performing Arts to bring the animated film live to the stage

By Tahja Smith, Taylor Weaver and Kelsee McKee, Staff Writers — GlenOak is going green with their twist on the classic fairy-tale.

Shrek the Musical, the Tony award winning Broadway production, will premiere on Feb. 27 and 28.

Shrek was chosen because of its fun story line, amazing music and its inspiring message.

“What’s great is it appeals to people of all ages. Young, little children and adults, everyone can relate,” choir director Brian Kieffer said.

The story is said to have an inspiring message about loving yourself because no one is perfect.

“To me Shrek is about acceptance and being okay with who you are, and performing it helps people who watch become confident and love themselves more the way they are,” drama teacher Brittany Eckstrom said.

For the musical a large cast of over 95 people is needed.

“It gives a lot of kids the opportunity to be in the show,” Kieffer said.

There are going to be many challenges that come with turning an animated movie into a musical including the unusually large cast and the transformation of Princess Fiona into an ogre in which a double will be used.

“They’re challenges but they’re all going to be really fun to work through,” Kieffer said.

Shrek is different from the musicals previously performed at the school in the way that this musical requires extensive makeup and includes many diverse characters.

“It’s not like anything we’ve done before,” Kieffer said.

The latex makeup mask being used for the ogres will be rented and every cast member in the musical will be in charge of their own makeup.

“We’re putting a lot into costumes because we feel we really need it for the show,” Kieffer said.

With the costumes being an extravagant part of the musical, they have plans to get them from Buffalo, New York.

“We already have our costumes ordered and all of our costumes are coming from a company in New York and they actually use the same ones in the Broadway show. So they are extremely good quality and we spent a good amount of money to get them because they are so good,” Eckstrom said.

There are many directors being used to help put the musical together. The directors work independently in their specific area until the last month before the musical premieres. Then they come together to make the musical whole.

Including Kieffer, who is the artistic director, and Eckstrom, the staging director, Mary Meese, and Jacquenette Blaydes are taking part in the musical as well.

“I’m excited to work with this great cast of directors and an amazing cast of students,” Kieffer said.

Every director for the musical has a student director alongside them and they act as an assistant to the original directors and are capable of directing the cast on their own.

“We all enjoy working and collaborating and creating together on a professional level. It’s a lot of fun to work alongside like-minded people,” Kieffer said.

Shrek will be played by Alex VonBerg, Princess Fiona will be played by Hannah Fricker, and Donkey will be played by Tyson Upshaw.

They are planning to start rehearsals for the musical the week before Thanksgiving.

[Updated Aug. 8, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]