The Timberline Secondary School drama program is working hard on their first live action performance since the pandemic, bringing the audience to the Swamp, Dragon’s Keep and Duloc in their adaptation of the musical Shrek.
Most people know the story, Shrek is about an ogre and his sidekick Donkey who set off on a mission to rescue princess Fiona from a fire-breathing dragon and deliver her to her future husband, the diminutive Lord Farquaad, in order to save his swamp. However, Shrek and Donkey notice that the princess disappears every evening.
Drama teacher Jana MacFarlane said that she has been interested in this production since the first time she heard of it.
“I’ve wanted to do Shrek ever since I saw Shrek,” MacFarlane said. “Normally when you do a show, we spend three days a week listening to these songs, and it’s very easy to get tired of Shrek. Shrek is one that I’ve been listening to now for a couple of years and I haven’t gotten tired of them.”
“We’ve also got a lot of really strong kids this year who fit those parts and are giving them a chance for them to shine,” she said.
The show marks the first time the class has performed in front of a live audience since the pandemic. Their spring performances in the last couple of years have been live-streamed, which is a different experience for those on stage.
“It was so weird last year,” said grade 12 student Michaela Veary, who plays Lord Farquaad in the show. “They told you to stand there and pause after your song, but there’s no applause… there’s nothing.”
That being said, they have no qualms about being in front of people again.
“This is live theatre, so clap if you like something, and laugh if you think its funny,” said student Ryver Santos Cegnar, who plays Shrek. “It really helps with the cast to get our morale up.”
One thing about a show based on a movie (based on a book) about fantastical fairy-land creatures is that the costumes are very elaborate. Musical director Celine Ouellette has been hard at work sewing costumes since last May, and the results are really something. While the Mirror got a sneak peak at the costumes, some of the big show pieces are going to be left to surprise the audience.
“There are massive amounts of costumes,” MacFarlane said. “We borrowed a few from Comox Valley Youth Music Centre (CYMC) from when they did it a couple of years ago. A lot of them have been created just for this production. Our musical director Celine Ouellette has single-handedly done all of the costumes except for the ones that we borrowed. She’s been working at her sewing machine non-stop.”
The show will be at the Timberline Theatre on April 22, 23 and May 5, 6, 7 al at 7 p.m.. There will also be a matinee performance on April 24 at 1 p.m. Tickets are available at www.showtix4u.com/events/timberlinesecondary.