A special connection - Shrek the musical
Every year the drama department at Lakeside chooses a play for secondary students to put on. This season, we had the opportunity to watch Shrek the musical, which is based on an acclaimed Broadway musical of the same name.
Many students who were involved in the play or attended the musical felt a special connection to it. Shrek the musical is inspired by the DreamWorks movie that follows an ogre named Shrek and his comedic counterpart Donkey. The pair go off on quests around the magical kingdom of Duloc, and fight off the evil ruler Lord Farquaad. Although the movie was first released in 2001 (a year or two before we were born), many of us have watched the movie and fallen in love with the characters. CIS’s Shrek the musical lets us relive a simpler and more joyful time in our lives.
The students who were involved in the musical have been hard at work ever since casting started last school year (before the summer break). The cast and directors worked tirelessly, giving their all, in order to create the best CIS show possible.
The leading characters
Varun Babu (grade 12) played the musical’s lead, Shrek. To him, this musical was an amazing opportunity for him to show off his talents in acting, singing and dancing. As the lead, Varun wanted to show that people of all ages can enjoy fairy tales, especially Shrek with its fair share of mature humour. Varun told us that he auditioned for Shrek mainly because he wanted to improve his acting skills and boost his self confidence. He didn’t know that he would have the qualities of a true musical actor while balancing academics!
Minaal Khurram, grade 11, played Shrek’s trusty sidekick, Donkey. To her, Shrek was not only an out of the world experience, it was also a great opportunity for budding actors as it was considered the most professionally produced musical we have done at CIS so far. She believes that it’s the best musical the school has ever done and it’s been an out-of-the-world experience to her. Like Varun, she believed that Shrek would resonate with older audiences due to its mature humour. She auditioned for the musical because of her love of all things theatre. Though she has been in many school productions, she felt that she has the closest connection to the hyper and happy-go-lucky character of Donkey.
Our lovely leading lady, Princess Fiona was played by Ysa Boon (grade 9). Ever since she started becoming more serious about acting over the past year, Ysa saw Shrek as the golden opportunity to develop her talents for acting and singing. Her favourite part of being in the production was practising the song “I know it’s today” with the other two Fionas. This song is quite famous in the Broadway version of Shrek and it’s a sign of the show coming together.
The comically evil (and comically short) antagonist, Lord Farquaad, was played by Haizea Garate, a grade 11 veteran of CIS’s annual productions. Haizea wanted to use the flamboyant role to showcase her acting capabilities and comedic skills. For her, Shrek was a way to continue her involvement with theatre after she selected Visual Arts as her art course. Sadly, this was her last musical as she will be under the enhanced academic pressures of a year 2 DP student next year.
It was indeed an amazing experience to watch CIS’s very own interpretation of Shrek the musical at the David Foster Theatre. Thank you to all the students and teachers who have worked so hard to bring this Tony Award winning musical to the CIS community!