‘Shrek’makes his way to St. Francis

St. Francis High School Theater presents “Shrek: The Musical” based on the DreamWorks Animation motion picture and the book by William Steig. Curtains open 7 p.m. April 24, 25 and 26; 2 p.m. April 27.

Shrek (Nick Messer), Fiona (Abilene Olson), Donkey (Max Mauch-Morffa) and Farquaad (Payton Hearn) strike a pose during rehearsal for St. Francis High School’s production of “Shrek: The Musical.”

Shrek (Nick Messer), Fiona (Abilene Olson), Donkey (Max Mauch-Morffa) and Farquaad (Payton Hearn) strike a pose during rehearsal for St. Francis High School’s production of “Shrek: The Musical.”Photo submitted

The production is something of a family affair, with Glenn Morehouse Olson serving as director, her husband playing guitar in the pit, one daughter working the light board and another on stage as Fiona.

“The family that plays together stays together,” Olson said, remarking on the bonding that occurs when family members share a theatrical goal.

Along with pursuing the goal of producing an entertaining show comes unique technical challenges, Olson said.

“The technical elements have been quite challenging and we’ve had a number of amazing theatres that have loaned and rented us costumes and some specialty pieces. Our set designer, lighting/sound designer, and costume designers have been working overtime to turn our theater into Shrek’s swamp,” Olson said.

Not only that, all the make-up design for the musical is being done by a student who wants to pursue make-up design as a career.

“It’s been an amazing collaborative effort, with over 80 students involved on stage, back stage, and in the pit orchestra,” Olson said.

The students involved agree the production has been a fun and challenging endeavor.

In fact, Shrek himself (aka Nick Messer) had this to say, “It’s helped me meet new people and find new confidence in myself.”

Max Mauch Morff described some of the challenges he faces playing the part of Donkey.

“Donkey is a really amazing part,” he said. “It’s very physical and I had to learn to use hooves as hands.”

And Abilene Olson (the director’s daughter who plays Fiona) added, “I think being in Shrek has been one of the best experiences I’ve had. The cast is so collaborative and I get to spend time with a lot of the people I care about.”

The director said “Shrek” is not only entertaining, but eye-opening as well.

“This show is a great one for high school. Beyond the humor and the story everyone knows and loves, there’s a great message. It’s about seeing people for who they are on the inside,” she said. “In the end, everyone realizes … eccentricities are the things that make them special.”

“Shrek” will be presented at St. Francis High School Performing Arts Center, 3325 Bridge Street, St. Francis.

Tickets (available at the door or at https://search.seatyourself.biz) are $8 for adults, $6 for senior citizens, students and children.

For more information call 763-213-1527.

Sue Austreng is at
sue.austreng@ecm-inc.com

up arrow