Courtney Smith

After months of hard work and dedication, on April 13, 14, and 15 at 7:30 p.m. and April 16th at 2:30 p.m. The Seminole High School (SHS) Theater Company performed their highly anticipated rendition of Shrek the Musical. Despite SHS’s lack of recognition for the arts, the SHS Theater Company put on a memorable show for a packed audience. 

Many audience members attended as an extra credit opportunity for Mrs. Meahl’s IB English III class; however, this musical also served as a valuable experience for these students. Julia Peralta Menezes, an IB junior, says: “I usually do not like musicals, but I was pleasantly surprised. The acting and singing skills of the performers were excellent! This was my first [time watching a] school musical, but it was really good. I [look forward to] watch[ing] their next production!”

The company’s creativity with its costumes and sets is applaudable, especially given the limited budget they are allotted. Notably, Lord Farquad’s extravagant red and white costume that required the actor to give an over-the-top performance while on their knees for the entirety of the production, to achieve the effect of his short stature, was spectacular! His character lit up the auditorium every time he entered the stage, especially after de-mounted the horse that was several times his height, leaving the audience wondering how he would survive such a high fall. 

Another notable aspect of the musical was the use of the entire theater as the stage. Donkey and Shrek playing punch buggy to entertain themselves on their long journey to meet Fiona while in the audience felt more natural because they had more distance to roam beyond  the stage. This effectively portrayed the length of their journey more than being confined to the stage would have. Additionally, the townspeople stampeding the wedding through the audience added an element of excitement. Heads were turned to see the ruckus that was erupting through the audience. This allowed the audience to feel that they were wedding guests observing the pandemonium that was Fiona and Lord Farquad’s wedding, rather than simply observing a school play. 

The musical concluded with a heartwarming performance of “I’m a Believer,” sung by Shrek. All the actors on stage were dancing, enjoying themselves just as much as the audience. Continuing the uplifting mood after a marvelous performance, a booster club member initiated a fundraiser, urging audience members to donate to the theater company to allow students to continue to perform in other musicals without extreme limitations. Performers hurried around the audience collecting as many donations as possible in under a minute. Alejandra Zabala Martinez, an IB junior, expresses: “It made me really happy to [know that] people [were] donating to something that many of my classmates are so passionate about.” 

         The only downfalls of the musical were its length and the choreography’s occasional lack of cleanliness. The knights had the wrong arm up or wrong leg forward in certain scenes which impacted the believability of their character because they lacked the necessary attention to detail and sharp movements of a knight. However, their drowsiness caused by lengthy scenes, such as Fiona’s song about being a morning person that had limited significance, although still brilliant, could have impacted their performance. 

Ultimately, the support of the audience, the uplifting message to be one’s true self, and the wonderful opportunity of watching fellow ‘Noles enjoy themselves on stage all made for a very wholesome experience. Many students discovered their new-found appreciation for theater because of the wonderful musical performance of a well-loved movie among high school students.