—By Katherine Chen and Michelle Xu—
Jonathan Gelb, Grade 12- Lord Farquaad
Lord Farquaad is the main antagonist of Shrek who just so happens to be extremely short in stature. He is the “ruler” of Duloc.
“I’d say the best part of playing Farquaad is its biggest challenge. I’m on my knees the entire show, except for the curtain call, so I have to wear knee pads the entire show. I’ve had to learn how to move without knee joints but make it look, through the way my costume works, like I’m just a very small person. I have to be careful about maintaining the illusion as best as possible with my cape and with a little bit of black art that goes on, so the best part is how challenging the physicality of it is.”
Claire Towell, Grade 12- Gingy
Gingy is the Muffin’s Man cute little gingerbread creation. After he is captured by Farquaad, Gingy comes back to Duloc to pump all the fairytale creatures up for a revolution.
“He’s not just for comedic effect; he’s inspiring for the rest of the fairytale creatures. He kind of tells them ‘we need to get off of our butts and do something! We can’t just sit around and be judged.’”
Alora Eisen, Grade 12- Fiona
Fiona is the main female lead and a beautiful princess of Far Far Away who transforms into an ogress every day at sundown.
“She’s not like your typical princess. How I have been able to relate with her is the fact that she’s different and weird, and I love putting that out for her. I obviously am so excited and honored to be playing such a big role. This is like a dream come true. I’ve played big roles before, but this is especially special and I think it’s going to be a great show. I’m really excited to play this part and work with Kavya, Freddy, Scott, Jonathan, and everyone involved.”
Gabriella Hinks, Grade 9- Dragon
Dragon is the red beast that guards Fiona’s castle. Although she has no lines, Dragon still undergoes subtle character development.
“I think the best part of being on the cast is the community that I found. I made a lot of friends with older kids and that’s been really nice because I just moved here. I got to make a ton of new friends and be a part of the family.”
Joey Gonnella, Grade 11- Pinocchio
The classic tale of Pinocchio is brought to life in Shrek. Of course, the consequences of lying are physically evident through this puppet’s growing nose.
“We got it from a props warehouse, and it’s almost like a mask. You put it on your face and you look a little like Bane from Batman. There’s a little lever that I can push and pull that makes my nose longer and shorter.”
Besides, we cannot deny Gonnella’s humorous honesty of what might happen with his high pitched singing: “If my voice cracks or I screw up, I have an excuse.”
Kavya Pochiraju, Grade 11- Fiona
Pochiraju also plays Fiona, the cursed princess who was locked in a castle for several years.
“We started the audition process sometime in November, so we actually got chosen and started rehearsing mid-late December. Since then, it’s been a very arduous and very hard job just to go to rehearsals every day. We have 9-5 rehearsals on Saturdays, but it’s something that we all really enjoy… And I know just going to rehearsal every day makes me happy.”
Christine Gillars, Grade 10- Fairy Godmother
The Fairy Godmother is based loosely on that of Cinderella. She is evicted by Lord Farquaad when he is tries to get rid of the kingdom’s magical creatures.
“Everyone on the cast is like a big family. These people are really the only people that I can really open up to and tell them things that I couldn’t really tell other people. I just really trust them and they’re like my best friends.”
Scott Gelb, Grade 10- Donkey
After being rescued by Shrek, Donkey faithfully remains by his side, even when Shrek gets frustrated and tries to get rid of him.
“It’s always been really crazy, especially leading up to the show, because there’s so much to do and prepare. It all eventually gets done, but it’s just unbelievably crazy how much hard work everyone has to put in. Even the people who might not be on stage all the time still have to put in a ton of work and time. It’s just a lot of grinding at rehearsals and persevering through it. Maybe we lose a lot of sleep, but it’s all for the good of the show.”
Alan Gan, Grade 12; Reuben Van Eck, Grade 11; Jack Donaldson, Grade 11- Three Little Pigs
The Three Little Pigs are supporting characters in Shrek. They become Shrek’s friends after being banished by Farquaad.
Van Eck: “This year we get to be insane characters like the three little pigs, the three blind mice, and all these ridiculous over-the-top characters.”
Plus, as Gan puts it, “it’s fun being a fairy tale creature.”
Freddy Maresca, Grade 11- Shrek
The lead role of an ugly green ogre is played by Maresca. Shrek is happily anti-social and lives alone on his swamp.
“What people won’t know about this production is how much deeper we go with the characters than you see in the movie. There’s definitely a lot more backstory, especially with characters like Shrek, Fiona, and Farquaad. We’ll see a lot more of their origin story and it really flushes out the characters more than you would see in just the movie.”
Tickets for Shrek the Musical on sale now for $12!
February 26th at 7:30pm
February 27th at 7:30pm
February 28th at 2:00pm and 7:30pm
March 1st at 2:00pm.