Everyone’s favorite ogre comes to MSU for “Shrek the Musical”

Highland summer theatre in full swing with two shows in production

Dena Schedivy
Staff Writer

Highland Summer Theatre is halfway over, but do not miss your chance to see Shrek the Musical and The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. Shrek the Musical opens on Tuesday, June 26 and closes on Sunday, July 1 in the Ted Paul Theatre. The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 opens on Wednesday, July 11 and closes on Saturday, July 14 in the Andreas Theatre. All performances are at 7:30 p.m.

“Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek”. Shrek the Musical, follows a grumpy ogre and his relucant side kick, Donkey, as they travel across the land to rescue and escort Princess Fiona to Duloch, Lord Farquaad’s city, in exchange for the fairy tale creatures’ freedom and for Shrek’s peace and quiet.
Director Dr. Paul J. Hustoles was kind enough to give us some insight on his production of Shrek. “In this particular show, what’s really fun are the characters – these bizarre, wonderful fairytale creatures and this play is filled with them. We’re focusing on the artistic simplification of the set but having a lot of fun with the actors.”Shrek has been amovie most of the cast has grown up with. Some of the actors wanted to give their input on their roles.

Ashley Ziegler, who plays Fiona, says that “Fiona was my favorite princess growing up. When the other girls would play Cinderella and Ariel, I would be off practicing my karate moves and ‘being one of the guys.’ A spit fire red head is one of those infinite similarities I share with her. My favorite part about playing her is getting to re-live my childhood!”

Gary Scott Du Charme II, who plays Lord Farquaad has few comments to add as to what he enjoys about playing the odd, pint-sized Lord. “My favorite thing about playing Farquaad is that I get to be completely ridiculous every time I’m on stage. The character is eccentric, ‘over the top’ and a real joy to play!”

Cam Pederson, who plays Pinnochio and is serving as the wig designer once again, gave his input on what his favorite part about playing the iconic wooden puppet is. “Pinocchio is a hoot because I have the opportunity to merge the classic tale of the puppet boy and the iconic character from the Shrek movies that our audiences will most likely be familiar with, while adding in my own bits of pubescent awkward sass. That, and I’ve got some pretty sweet puppet dance moves up my sleeve!”

Photos courtesy of the MSU Theatre Department

Lastly, Quentin Craishon Thomas, who is playing Donkey and making his Highland Summer Theatre debut, had a lot to say. “My favorite part about being Donkey is how energetic he is and how he’s kind of my alter ego. Personally, I’m not an energetic person so it’s fun to be over the top ad crazy,” He said. “Also, I love the fact that

Donkey accepts peoples flaws and doesn’t judge them and people need someone like Donkey in their corner what with what is going on with politics, pop culture and everyday life. People need someone who just accepts and loves you no matter what while still holding you accountable for the things you do, so that you are able to grow as a person.”

Another exciting thing to note about Shrek, is that after each performance, the audience members will get the chance to meet and greet with Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, Lord Farquaad and Pinnochio as well as 5 other fairy tale creatures. This meet and greet will be after every performance in the main lobby outside of the Ted Paul Theatre.

Shortly after Shrek the Musical closes, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 will open in the Andreas Theatre on Wednesday, July 11 and close on Saturday July 14. All performances will be at 7:30 PM.

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 will be directed by Susan V. Hansen, who you might’ve seen recently in HST’s production of Steel Magnolias as M’Lynn Eatenton.

Musical Comedy Murders was written by John Bishop and opened on Broadway on April 6, 1987. Set in a 1940s New York mansion that is owned by Elsa Von Grossenknueten and Helsa Wenzel, some odd things begin happening.

Come join us for our murder mystery to close the summer! We’d love to see you there!
Tickets are on sale for all Highland Summer Theatre shows now! Tickets are available to purchase online at http://www.mnsu.edu/theatre/ , by phone at 507-389-6661 or in-person at the box office Monday-Friday from 4 to 6 pm. Regular tickets sell for $22. MSU students get a special discount at $15.00 through the Box Office only.

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