Anyone in attendance at the Tiger Den Players’ dress rehearsal for “Shrek the Musical” last Wednesday would have seen how excited the students were to perform in the long-anticipated production.
Performances of the musical were set for Friday and Saturday, however due to inclement weather the performances have been rescheduled.
Director Mallory Nonnemaker said the new show times are at 7 p.m. Dec. 17 and 18.
Unaware of the impending six inches of snow, students at the Dec. 6 dress rehearsal eagerly rushed back stage to make sure everything was in working order and ready for show time.
“Shrek is one of my favorite shows,” said Nonnemaker. “I
really like the message of it. It talks a lot about being yourself and
accepting yourself for who you are, which I think is a really important message
for young people to hear.”
“Shrek the Musical” is Nonnemaker’s fifth show overall and third musical she’s directed since she’s been teaching drama in Dawson County. This is currently her second year teaching at DCHS and DCJHS.
The show follows the plot from the 2001 film and features the same lovable, fun characters. Shrek and Donkey go on a quest to save Princess Fiona from a dragon-guarded tower so that Shrek can reclaim his swamp from the fairytale creatures dumped there by the story’s villain, Lord Farquaad.
The show was adapted into a one-act play for time.
“He’s a hermit, living off in a swamp and everything, but [the play] goes more into the depths of why he’s like that,” said junior Jonathan Matthews, who plays the titular character. “It still has all the humor that the movie has but it has a lot more of the characterization that you would come to expect.”
Matthews has been in the drama program since his freshman year and has been involved in six productions. He has really enjoyed the improvisational aspect this show allows him to have.
“There’s a lot of funny parts we can adlib and add some little jokes in there on your own,” said Matthews. “One person said they didn’t know when the actual scripted stuff ended and jokes we were making up began.”
Sophomore Isaac Dunn, who plays Shrek’s lovable sidekick Donkey, also loved the fun nature of the production. His favorite part about playing Donkey is “the amount of energy I’m allowed to have.”
Seniors Bronwynne Hill and Brody Holbrook, who play Princess Fiona and Lord Farquaad, also said the show has been incredibly fun for them.
“I love being a princess but also a princess that isn’t the traditional princess,” said Hill, who has been involved in eight productions at DCHS. “She’s sassy and she doesn’t just let people walk all over her. I like that she’s a princess but she’s her own person.”
Holbrook said Lord Farquaad is “a really fun guy to play.”
“[He] is pretty fun because he’s not really aware he’s the antagonist. He thinks he’s on top of the world,” said Holbrook.
Of course, “Shrek the Musical” is not without its challenges
for its cast. With multiple settings, there are quick scene changes requiring the
tech crew to move big set pieces into place. With many ensemble actors playing
multiple roles, they also have to worry about quick costume changes. For the
main characters, they each have their own unique obstacles.
For Matthews, the toughest part about the musical is managing the balance between being funny and serious.
“It’s very back and forth between funny and serious with the show so it’s hard to know when to be funny and when to be serious during parts especially since you have funny moments in the middle of serious moments,” said Matthews.
For Hill, it’s the music that really challenges her.
“I am usually an alto in chorus so having to sing so high is rough for me,” said Hill.
For Holbrook, he says the most difficult part about portraying Lord Farquaad – without question – is shuffling around on his knees the entire time. Since Lord Farquaad is a short-statured character, Holbrook commanded the stage while on his knees in one of the play’s most physically demanding roles.
“I do have knee pads. They help a lot,” said Holbrook.
Overall, “Shrek the Musical” has been a fun experience for the entire cast.
“The music is a lot of fun and it's characters that the
students know and love so it’s just a really great story to tell,” said