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Hampton/Shaler

'Shrek Jr. the Musical' set for Nov. 16-18 at Hampton Middle School

| Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017, 11:39 a.m.
Andrew Kaehly, as Farquaad, practices his scene for Hampton Middle School's play 'Shrek Jr. the Musical' on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Andrew Kaehly, as Farquaad, practices his scene for Hampton Middle School's play 'Shrek Jr. the Musical' on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017.
Brooks Brady, as Shrek, and Carissa Williams, as Donkey, practice their lines for Hampton Middle School's play 'Shrek Jr. the Musical' on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Brooks Brady, as Shrek, and Carissa Williams, as Donkey, practice their lines for Hampton Middle School's play 'Shrek Jr. the Musical' on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017.
Hampton Middle school dancers rehearse for 'Shrek Jr. the Musical' on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017.
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Hampton Middle school dancers rehearse for 'Shrek Jr. the Musical' on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017.
Laynie Loebig plays Teen Fiona in Hampton Middle School's play 'Shrek Jr. the Musical.'
Louis Raggiunti | For the Tribune-Review
Laynie Loebig plays Teen Fiona in Hampton Middle School's play 'Shrek Jr. the Musical.'

A well-known, green ogre and a princess are among the main characters in “Shrek Jr. the Musical,” which the Hampton Middle School Theater Department will present on stage from Nov. 16 to 18.

Performances will be held at 7 p.m. all three days, with an additional showing at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18.

The almost 100-person cast, consisting of sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students, is really enjoying the experience and its message, said musical director Greg Shumaker.

“Shrek is just a great tale of acceptance and love, (of which) middle school kids can relate. Because being accepted, finding happiness in middle school, is very important,” he said.

Lead roles include Brooks Brady as Shrek, Carissa Williams as Donkey, and Meg Holmes and Giulia Mauro, both taking on the role of Fiona. Shumaker said the Fiona actors were “tremendous so we double-casted the role.” So each will perform two shows.

Rebecca Heller, who teaches math at the middle school, is the assistant director and choreographer. She said there are some really fun tap and jazz numbers and the kids are enjoying the experience.

“I think they're having a great time working and spending time with their friends,” Heller said of the cast. “They're just having a blast dancing.”

She said this musical is unique in that there are a lot of smaller, speaking roles, giving more students speaking opportunities. Other plays often have just a few, larger roles with more lines, she said.

Heller said it's similar to the animated motion picture “Shrek.”

Shumaker said this the first year they are doing “Shrek Jr. the Musical,” and they began working on the show at the end of August.

Shumaker said others involved with the production are Ryan Meyer, who is handling music and vocals, along with fellow music teachers Lurrene Parker and Heather Heere.

Costs for reserved tickets purchased in advance are $8 for adults and $7 for students. General admission prices are $7 for adults and $6 for students.

To order online tickets, visit the school district website, ht-sd.org, or visit http://talbotdrama.wikispaces.com/Tickets. The middle school is at 4589 School Drive, Hampton.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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