Making Shrek the Musical: A Look Back

Using Panther Eye footage, we take a behind the scenes look at Shrek the Musical.


I chose to be a part of the musical because, I don’t know, a bunch of my friends were doing it and I did it last year, it was my first musical last year this is my second musical and I had fun last year so I said, “Hey, why not?”

The process of selecting a musical, at Sweet Home High School, with me as the producer involves a meeting with the director who’s also the choreographer, Bobby Cooke, we meet in the summer and we discuss our options and he gives me a list and I add to the list and then we get perusal copies which means that we order copies of each script of shows that we are interested in from the companies and then we read them and we see if, first of all if we think we have a cast that, students, that would fill the cast requirements. Personally, I listen to the musical soundtrack because I am also the person who teaches the music to the students so if I don’t like the music, we don’t do the show, and, that is one of the main reasons I decided Shrek would be a good choice because the music is phenomenal, it’s a really good soundtrack.

I’m a professional actor that works with Kert Erb and he used to be the director here so he brought me on as choreographer and 6 years later, or 5 years later, however many it was I started becoming the director and now I’m the director and the choreographer, so, I used to just be the choreographer which is all the movement, so, that’s how I got started here

Being in stage crew is a lot of hard work, but, it can be rewarding. On Sundays and Saturdays, we kind of build the whole set and such and that can be a little tedious if things don’t work out, but, we figure it out in the end and it’s usually a pretty good show.

We in the pit, we don’t get a lot of recognition, although we do a heck of a lot with the performances themselves. Without us, there would be no live music, it’d be all canned like in the sounds system. Uh, there’d be no warmth or no depth all the swells that are important in the dynamics of the show wouldn’t be there.

I started acting in 6th grade and we did Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I was one of the ensemble and I didn’t really stick out. And then. next year, I did Aladdin and I played one of the head guard and that was my first sort of lead supporting role and I had a lot of scenes together and was comic relief with Alex Orgac and that was a lot of fun. We had to practice by staring at lights with our eyes open, we didn’t have to but we decided we should because there was a scene where we had to freeze and we had to keep our eyelids open, that was funny. But, um, when I started doing more and I started doing more musicals I, uh we, did for my senior year in middle school, 8th grade, we did Alice in Wonderland and that was when I had my first lead which was the Mad Hatter, and that was a lot of fun. And then, um, I got to high school and I was kind of overwhelmed with what I had to do and the work I had and I needed time to relax from the fatigue of the work I did and so I actually didn’t do the musical my freshman year and that was All Shook Up, and, I regret that ’cause that was a phenomenal musical that I went to. And, what really inspired me was to do musicals, before we continue, was when I first saw the high school do Guys and Dolls, that was an experience that really captivated me, I thought it was fantastic.I’d always been a musical person as a kid ’cause my family is extremely rhythmically talented and we all and we all love music and it’s always on in my house, uh, and so I saw it as an opportunity to break out of my shell and actually expose myself to a larger audience rather than just continue to be my quiet self. So now, here I am playing the start in a musical that is going to be my last in all of normal education and it’s pretty gratifying and I’m pretty excited.

To the people who want to be part of the musical, I’d say the musical really gives you a chance to express yourself. Whether it is in your character or, like, interacting with people in the musical, making friends, I don’t know, it’s just a good time.

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