West Union High School Performing Arts will be presenting their 28th performance on 7 p.m. April 25 and 26 and May 2 and 3. They are taking Shrek from the big screen and putting him on a big stage in “Shrek The Musical.”
The 75 students involved in the production have been in dress rehearsal since Friday, preparing for the debut showing. The performance is complex and will move between scenes in a unique manner, so plenty of practice is needed to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Director and Producer Carl Schneider had selected “Shrek the Musical” as the 2014 play right after finishing “Wizard the Oz” last year with some key reasons for the choice. The first is that the play became available through copyright laws for amateur performers to use in the fall, and Schneider was eager to be among the first to present it. The second reason is that the performance plays off of the strengths of the current cast.
“I looked at the personnel, saw what we had, and we had three really strong boys, and this has three strong male leads in it,” Schneider said. “Also the storyline is one that everyone can relate to. It seems like at some time or another you’ve felt that you’re the person being picked on. Everyone can sit and look at that and go ‘I can understand where this is coming from.’”
Kade Miller has taken on the role of the title character, Shrek, and Tim Snider, who played the Cowardly Lion last year, will serve as his overly talkative sidekick, Donkey. The villainous Lord Farquad shall be played by the talented Eli Bedel. Finally, Karma Collins is playing Fiona.
Neil DeAtley is serving as the Assistant Director and Nancy Schneider is the Pit Orchestra Director and Rehearsal Accompanist. Beth Huntley is the Music Director. The costumes are being design by Becky Hawkins, Ma’ry’e Kinhalt, and Jean Goodin. Rhonda Willet is the Artistic Director and handles set design. Judy Gardener is the Technical Director and works on prop design. Matt Sheeley is in charge of Special Effects. Divina Cooper is the House Manager, and Don Fowler will be handling concessions. Various volunteers also provide support for these massive undertakings.
To address the issues that come with a flat floor, Schneider is having the back rows of seating placed on graduation risers. This will allow those in the back to see over the audience in front of them. The elevation combined with the fact that the play is designed to take up so much of the stage means the back seats may be among some of the best seating available.
Tickets are available now and can be purchased at the school until 9 p.m. all week.