Carroll County Cavaliers are adding their own personal layers to”Shrek the Musical.” which is set to open on April 27 in the school auditorium. According to CCHS Choir Director Chandra Harmon, performances start at 7 p.m. on April 27 and 28 with doors opening at 6:30 p.m.
On April 29, the doors open at 1:30 p.m. and the curtain is set to go up at 2 p.m. Tickets for adults are $10; Students are $5. Harmon said there are 55 students in the cast with the school doing costumes for the entire ensemble. Tickets may be purchased at the door.
“Compared to last year, we have 20 more people than we had for The Little Mermaid cast. We’re close to what we had for the Beauty and the Beast cast. We rented costumes for that instead of constructing them, so it’s taking a little more time to get everything made,” Harmon said.
She said while previous success has raised expectations, students relished the challenge with other departments in the school pitching in.
“The kids are making it easier this year. Everything is more student centered,” said Harmon. “I just help guide people in a direction they need to go but the students have taken over costuming and getting props together. Building trades students are building our sets, the Art Department and Chorus are painting backdrops and Engineering is trying to fix up a nose for Pinocchio which grows. This is 98 percent kids and two percent me.”
Harmon said Dr. Kay Schwink, for instance, is making costumes for the show in what has become an entire school effort. Students are running lights and helping direct the production (Wesley Harmon and Issac McCraw are serving as student directors.)
She said the musical’s plot is similar to the Disney and Pixar feature with some different songs. Audiences should rest assured though, Shrek remains a complicated ogre with different layers…like an onion (At one point in the show, Donkey reasons parfaits have layers, so, ogres are like parfaits, which have layers and are so much better than onions).
“The students have put their own spin on this. They have had a ball with it. The singing is great and they’ve taken each character and made it their own and put a bit of their own personality into it,” said Harmon.
Donkey is played by Robbie Goins; Shrek is played by Skyler Payne; Fiona is played by Amber Marshall and Lord Farquaad (the villain) is played by Wesley Harmon. These are all veterans of previous productions. She points out the production itself calls for an ensemble approach.
“There’s not many lead roles in this play. Everybody is equally important. There’s all sorts of cameos. Everyone is equally important. Pinocchio and Gingy are played by students who had lead roles in last year’s play,” Harmon said. “They chose to take a step back in this one to avoid burnout because lead roles are a lot of work, productions tend to mix it up on who has leads.”
She said Shrek the Musical fit in nicely with the typical collaborative approach taken by her and the student performers.
“I share with the students my thoughts and ideas. They give me their thoughts and ideas on whatever part they are working on. We have this big meeting of everybody, discuss everyone’s part in this. We hear out all sides and then come to the best conclusion. It’s an open environment where everybody can share ideas and collaborate and come to the best solution. It’s been really nice this year, having the students have more input. They’ve taken more pride in it. They’re taking it more serious but having fun at the same time,” said Harmon. “We don’t just automatically shoot down somebody’s idea. We try it and see if it works. If it works, then it’s even better.”
David Broyles may be reached at 276-779-4013 or on Twitter@CarrollNewsDave.