W ith only a few weeks left in the school year, there is one last theater production in the works: Shrek the Musical. From practicing fake falls, to perfecting the burping and farting scene, to putting together the unusual costumes, everyone involved in the musical has been extremely busy since the first day of Short Term in preparation for the opening on May 17.
Seniors Sam Myers and Colette Girardin are co-directors of this production. They’ve been involved in theater at Bates for multiple years, and they are coming together to direct one last show before they graduate.
Fergus Scott ’17 plays the lead role of Shrek. Not only is he a talented actor and singer as we all know from his numerous Man Ops solos, but his castmates also claim that his killer Scottish accent tops off his character.
Emily Tan ’19 plays Scott’s counterpart, Fiona. This is the first theater production she’s been involved in at Bates, and she raves about all aspects of the experience from the hard work of the cast to the leadership of the directors. She went on to say, “I’m constantly stunned by how quickly and efficiently the directors and stage managers are able to get things done. They make the show look so good in such a short period of time.”
According to the actors themselves, the minimal amount of time they’ve had to prepare has brought them together as a cast and as a group of friends. Scott emphasized that “one of the most enjoyable aspects of working on any musical is the camaraderie of the cast and the friendships that inevitably form as a result of working so intensely on a collaborative project.” They’ve spent copious amounts of time together over these last few weeks working on the show and getting to know each other, which will definitely reflect positively in their performances.
The costume designers, who have a particularly tricky job in a production filled with green ogres, princes and donkeys are right on track and have it all figured out. Tan said, “we are renting a bunch of costumes from the Portland Players, who have previously performed Shrek.” This makes costume designing a lot simpler and less time consuming, which is key in a production where there is little time to spare.
As seamlessly as the cast has come together, they’ve still encountered a fair share of challenges, as to be expected. Tan says her biggest challenge has been with timing. She claims, “there are a lot of lines, blocking and choreography to learn, so having only three weeks to prepare the show has been a pretty hefty challenge.”
Along with Bates students, hundreds of local elementary school students will also be attending the performances because it is the Robinson Players’ annual “Stages for All Ages” production. However, it’s not just a children’s show. According to Tan, “The show is really funny! Even though it’s primarily for elementary school children, it is definitely appealing to an adult audience as well.”
As performance time draws closer, Scott says, “I’m incredibly excited for the performances and the writing of the musical does a wonderful job at bringing to life the wit and nostalgic joy that all the characters embody.” Be sure to go support the cast of Shrek in the last theater production of the year. All performances are hour-long matinees and will be held from May 17 through May 20 in Schaeffer Theatre.