TURBOTVILLE — Middle school theater students from the Warrior Run School District will perform “Shrek the Musical Jr.” This weekend.
The performance will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. Saturday. The show will take place at Warrior Run High School Auditorium, 4800 Susquehanna Trail, Turbotville.
“After two years of the pandemic with smaller shows, I felt it was time we had a bigger show with more students involved,” said Joleine Bergmueller, the show’s director. “It’s a fun show with lots of energy and crazy songs and characters. I felt like it needed something optimistic this year to kickstart the energy. It’s time to bring live theater back in full force.
“Shrek the Junior Comedian.” is based on the Dreamworks Animation movie and book by William Steig. It was originally produced on Broadway by Dreamworks Theatricals and Neat Street Productions.
The main cast, all eighth graders, consists of Daniel Jones playing Shrek, Katie Zaktansky playing Princess Fiona, Summer Rovenolt playing Donkey, Braego Cieslukowski playing Lord Farquaad and Carrie Welshans voicing Dragon and seventh grade Samantha Mowery, seventh grade Hannah Hunter and Jessica Frey, eighth grade student, Dragon puppeteer. Twenty-nine students between sixth and eighth grade are involved in the production as actors and stage crew.
Bergmueller said the show is full of special effects and makeup. Jones will have a green mask and green makeup. The pupil who plays Pinocchio will have a growing nose. Cieslukowski, the tallest person in the production, plays Lord Farquaad on his knees with knee pads.
Dragon is voiced by Welsh, but three other students control a puppet for movement. One student each has a wing while another student holds their head high.
“These kids are great,” Bergmueller said. “They have been working for two months every day after school. They bring the energy no matter what they are doing all day.
Jones, 14, from Watsontown, said playing Shrek suited his personality.
“I’m a nice guy but I’m an angry guy,” he said. “I get angry or annoyed very easily. This is my first time as a main character. I’m happy to play Shrek and I had the chance to be a really important character.
He said the clothes are comfortable, but the rubber parts of the costume are not.
Zaktansky, 14, from McEwensville, said the series was fun and she enjoyed getting to know her castmates.
“It’s really hard for me not to laugh on stage. It’s such a fun show,” she said.
Cieslukowski, 13, from Watsontown, said he would prepare for the role by watching the film.
“I can have knee pads and walking on my knees is really fun,” he said. “I can have a wig again. This is the third year in a row that I have died in a musical.
Rovenolt, 13, of Turbotville, said she loves playing Donkey.
“I can be funny,” she said. “It’s pretty much just my personality. I can just be me on stage and I don’t have to act like I’m someone else. I become myself.
Welshans, 14, from Dewart, will voice Dragon.
“It’s one of those cool roles with a really cool costume,” she said. “I may be the bad guy at first, but then I’m not really a bad guy anymore.”
There are at least 360 tickets available for the four productions. Tickets are $5 each.