‘Shrek:’ A monstrously fun musical at UHS

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'Shrek: The Musical' will be performed at Unionville High School on Thursday, March 3, Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m., as well as a matinee show on Saturday at 2 p.m.

This week, an engaging ogre and his magical cohorts will invade Unionville High School, where students will be performing in their 2016 musical theatre production.

Ethan Pan's Donkey interacts with Justin Bowen's lovable ogre in 'Shrek: The Musical.'
Ethan Pan's Donkey (left) shares the stage  with Justin Bowen's lovable ogre in 'Shrek: The Musical' at Unionville High School.

“Shrek: The Musical,” which features a cast ranging from high school seniors to elementary school students, promises to be the district’s biggest and most elaborate production yet.

Director Scott Litzenberg explained that one of the more unusual features of this year’s musical will be the creative use of set pieces and stage space.

“We have this huge space to use, so we wanted to take advantage of that,” he said, adding that dance numbers would move beyond the bounds of front and center stage.

Props and costumes also play an important role in bringing the much-loved story to life on the stage, which showcase students in all manner of fantastic fairy-tale attire.

Unionville senior Justin Bowen, who plays the titular ogre himself, described the benefits of working with such a large cast.

“Every show we do, the cast merges into one cohesive, big family. I feel like this year’s family is one I will never forget, especially with all of the new freshman,” Bowen said. “And adding in the elementary school students and middle school students just made it that much better.”

Shrek's swamp attracts a menagerie of fairy-tale characters.
Shrek's swamp attracts a menagerie of lively and colorful fairy-tale characters.

Michelle Kelly, a fellow UHS senior and one of several students playing the role of the dragon, was equally proud and admiring of her cast mates. “This cast is incredibly supportive and helpful of each other. The most fun part is seeing everything come together,” she said. “It has been awesome to see everything develop and grow.”

The addition of younger students to the production added another dimension to the show, and both Bowen and Kelly expressed enthusiasm about working with the elementary and middle school students.

“The elementary school kids are so much fun to work with and add an extra element of fun to the show,” said Kelly. Bowen stated that adding the younger actors “made [the experience] that much better,” and that the whole cast is “full of amazingly talented people.”

“Shrek” will be performed on Thursday, March 3, Friday, March 4, and Saturday, March 5,  at 7:30 p.m., as well as a matinee show on Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets are currently on sale, and can be purchased at the following link on the Unionville High School website: http://uhs.ucfsd.org/music-department.html.


About Morgan Carter

Morgan Carter is a creative writing student interning with Chadds Ford Live. She loves tea, long walks on beaches, and baking – provided there is a recipe on the back of the box. She lives in Chadds Ford with her parents, three siblings, and two spunky parakeets. Morgan is very excited to be a part of the Chadds Ford Live team, and hopes to pursue a career in writing after graduating from college.

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