• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

'Shrek: The Musical' on WCHS stage starting March 11

Students will bring "Shrek: The Musical" to Woodford County High School's cafeteria stage for six performances beginning next Friday night, March 11, at 7. Audiences familiar with the 2001 animated film telling the love story of an ogre named Shrek and Princess Fiona will appreciate the song and dance elements of this stage adaptation, music director Sarah Grubb says. "It's fun to see what everyone is capable of (musically) and how far we can push all of these crazy numbers that we have," says WCHS senior Jacob Miller, who plays Lord Farquaad. Sarah Hack, also a senior, gets to stretch herself vocally while singing "Forever" as the Dragon. And junior Annabelle Crockett, who portrays Fiona, describes the range of musical numbers as "amazing" and "really fun to sing." "It's a very humorous play," adds Kevin Lausche, who plays Shrek. "There's this whole song just about farts - and we just have fun and just fart to a song." Compared to the animated movie, he says the musical also does more to convey the deeper emotions of a heartbroken Shrek after his breakup with Fiona. "Everyone already has an idea of what the characters are supposed to be like," explains Annabelle, "and we've got to make it our own." Grubb and choreographer Hilary Preece have collaborated on three previous musicals at WCHS. They are joined by makeup artist Matt Merrill and costume designer Melissa Houghton, a community volunteer who traveled to Michigan to bring back a carload of costumes and props she created. "She has custom-fit, created and/or made every costume in our production," director Elizabeth Gibson wrote in an email. "With over 45 actors, and many with multiple roles, you can imagine what an immense job this has been." Grubb describes Gibson "as incredibly creative . this (musical) has really been her canvas. And she's just let her creativity explode with the props and set (design)." Chap Hollin, who plays Donkey, appreciates the creative team's willingness to allow students to explore the technical side of a large-scale production like "Shrek: The Musical." "We wanted them to find their voice because not every one of these kids is going to be a performer," says Grubb, "but some of them might be a director or some of them might be a technical director or an artistic director. "So we're trying to let the kids be more than just a character on a stage. Let them see what goes into putting on an entire show." Performances of "Shrek" are Friday and Saturday, March 11 and 12, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, March 13, at 2 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19, at 7 p.m.; and Sunday, March 20, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students, with doors opening 30 minutes prior to performances on the WCHS cafeteria stage. For more about the cast and the upcoming performances visit www.shrekthemusicalatWCHS.weebly.com.

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