Choral Department’s “Shrek, The Musical”

Hannah Ensley, Editor-in-Chief
Saturday Nov. 21, 2015

Saturday, November 14th 2015 marked the first day of Bach to Broadway’s annual musical performance. This year, the class put on Shrek, The Musical based on the Dreamworks Animation Motion Picture and book by William Steig. This show took place on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in the Pisgah High School auditorium. I came to watch the first showing, which took place Saturday evening. There was a lovely dessert bar by the auditorium entrance, manned by some of my favorite chorus moms, like Valerie Dillingham and Sandy Osborne.

Before finding a seat, I headed backstage and to the chorus room to see what last preparations were being made, and to ask some questions. I was greeted by Breanna Metcalf in her Wicked Witch costume, talking to some fellow cast members. “The atmosphere before is stressful,” she told me. “But during its fun because people backstage just kind of let loose.” As if on cue, laughter erupted from the dressing room behind us. The lights in the audience dimmed, and I made my way to my seat. As the play began, the first thing I noted was that the costumes were very well done, and very cute! Everyone knew their lines really well, and were all very into their characters. During intermission, I noted to Levi Sharpe (who portrayed Donkey) that the main cast members seemed perfectly suited for their characters. “Caleb and I are best friends, and Shrek and Donkey are best friends, so it’s just really fun and easy for us to act together.” He told me, also stating that being able to act with Caleb Watkins (Shrek) was the best part of doing the play. Caleb, a senior, plans on doing a double major in vocal music education and performance in college. He spoke with me a bit about how doing the play helped him prepare for the career he is pursuing, and his mixed feelings about this being his last play. On this being his last play, he stated, “It makes me really sad! I’m happy and I’m sad- I’m happy that we’re doing a good job and having a good play. It’s been fun. I’m just sad it’s our last one, but I’m glad we could go out with a bang!” he told me before hurrying off to get ready for his next scene.

While many of the cast agreed that this was probably the best musical they had put on in their high school experience, no show can go by without a few mishaps here and there. Nate Hannah, who played Lord Farquaad in the show, explained to me how he deals with said mishaps. “Improvisation definitely helps,” Hannah said. “You give the characters a train of thought, so you really have to know your character.” Hannah has been involved in chorus since middle school, where he starred in Canton Middle’s production of “Aladdin.” In fact, many of the people in the play have been involved in music and acting since quite a young age. Around the age of the two youngest actors in the show, Savannah Payne, * and Robert “Junior” Castaneda,* who played young Fiona and young Shrek respectively. I met with these actors backstage, who talked to me about what it as like working with the high schoolers during this performance. Savannah recounted her experience to me, stating “It’s pretty good! I kind of got trampled though.” Junior also had a lot of positive things to say about his role in the musical. “It makes me really nervous, and it’s really fun. When I came for practice it was actually fun!”

Overall, I found this play to be full of humor and excitement, and the cast and staff put on a wonderful production. In everything from the costumes to choreography, the musical was so much fun to watch, and fun to participate in too! According to Taylor Osborne, who played Fiona, the tap dance was her favorite part of doing the show. She also stated, “I love jumping around the stage and being funny” which seemed to be the case for most of the cast. It was great seeing the play be so thoroughly enjoyed by the audience as well as the cast, and we’re already excited to see next year’s performance!

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