BUCKHANNON — The big green ogre and his fairytale friends are coming to a local stage next month as Buckhannon Community Theatre will produce “Shrek the Musical.”
Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce members were treated to a sneak peek of three of the musical numbers from the show based on the 2001 hit original film and its sequels.
Laura Meese, director, said “Shrek was a “pop-culture phenomenon” when it came out.
“It’s a lot of fun and has a lot of humor for both kids and adults,” she said. “There are a lot of one-liners and it also makes fun of fairytales — it’s very satirical — and of the pop culture of the time period.”
Meese said the musical builds on those themes.
“It’s still making fun, with much love to fairy tales, and also making fun of pop culture, but also because it is a musical, it is making fun of musicals as well,” she said. “If you follow musicals than you will probably find a lot of humor in this that you weren’t expecting from watching the movie.”
Meese said the musical is very successful at fleshing out the characters in narrative form.
“It becomes much more about the character progression, especially Fiona,” she said. “You will see a lot more of how she goes from being a small child to being an adult.”
In the musical, three Fionas have been cast.
“Ella [McNeish] is playing child Fiona,” Meese said. “Jenna [Kennedy] is playing teen Fiona and Sarah [Nale] is playing adult Fiona.”
Dustin Jones, a BCT newcomer, plays the role of Donkey and Josh Stubbs stars as “Shrek” and is a co-musical director along with Shelby Williams.
BCT executive producer Erika Kolenich said BCT was proud to once again be sponsored by St. Joseph’s Hospital and UHC for its summer musical.
“We are very, very appreciative of that,” she said. “That has allowed us to do quite a bit more with the show than we have in the past. They sponsored us last year for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and it was our first sell-out performance on all four nights that we have had in several years.
“That was really exciting and we are excited to be partnering with them this year.”
“BCT has grown exponentially over the past few years and continues to get bigger and bigger,” she said. “In November we were selected by the West Virginia Theater Association to travel as West Virginia’s representative to the Southeastern Theater Conference’s festival.
“Although we did not bring home a first-place prize, we did very well,” she said. “We sent a team of about 14 people down there with our show ‘Always, Patsy Cline.’ It was very well received so it was a great experience for us.”
In addition to “Shrek,” BCT has two more shows planned this year.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” will be performed for the last year by BCT and will be performed at the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum Sept. 7-8, 14-15 and 21-22.
“We are actually going to bring it here to Main Street in Buckhannon on Aug. 21 and 22,” she said.
“Also, we are doing ‘A Christmas Carol’ again in December,” she said.
Kolenich said BCT is exploring having the Event Center at Brushy Fork be the venue to accommodate more people for the Christmas time production.
“We are also hosting BCT’s first ever playwright festival,” she said. “Submissions are due Aug. 25 and then we are going to produce the three top winners around Valentine’s Day. The theme is ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It?’”
More information about any of the events can be found on the Buckhannon Community Theatre Facebook page.
“Shrek the Musical” will be performed Aug. 10-12 at 7 p.m. and Aug. 13 at 2 p.m. in the Virginia Thomas Law Performing Arts Center at WVWC. Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased in advance at Artistry on Main and online at Event Brite.
BCT will hold a pancake breakfast fundraiser at C.J. Maggie’s on July 29 to help raise money for “Shrek the Musical.” The cost is $5 and the fundraiser will be from 8-10 a.m.