The Kingdom of Far Far Away comes to Sheridan

Fourth-year students during the rehearsals of "Shrek: The Musical." Photography by Stephanie Alba
Fourth-year students during the rehearsals of Shrek: The Musical. (Photos by Stephanie Alba/Sheridan Sun)

BY STEPHANIE ALBA

Your friendly neighbourhood ogre, Shrek from The Kingdom of Far Far Away, is coming to Sheridan.

Shrek: The Musical based on the DreamWorks animated movie will be performed by Honour Bachelor of Musical Theatre Performance fourth-year students from Nov. 29 to Dec. 11.

Originally produced on Broadway by DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Productions, Sheridan will be bringing its own adaptation to the stage.

Sheridan Theatre's "Shrek: The Musical" courtesy of Sheridan College
Sheridan Theatre’s Shrek: The Musical poster.

Michael Rubinoff, the associate dean of the Visual and Performing Arts department, says that they had hoped to take their own different spin on it.

“Many of the productions of Shrek that had been done, sort of closely mimics the film. We wanted to try and tell it in the same spirit but in a little bit of a different way. So I think you’re going to see a really original, unique production of Shrek,” said Rubinoff.

Shrek: The Musical will be the first of the Sheridan Theatre current season performed by the Musical Theatre students as a part of their curriculum.

Mitch Wood, a 21-year-old fourth-year student who is in the musical’s ensemble, says general auditions are held at the beginning of their final year and students are placed in roles.

“I’m taking out a lot of new skills about patience in a rehearsal and being completely available and ready whenever the director, choreographer or stage manager needs you. Scheduling can be really difficult when things are first getting set and it’s a new show. Especially with Shrek, we’re kind of building this musical from the ground up and kind of a retelling of it, different from the movie,” Wood said.

With Sheridan’s fresh spin on it, audiences coming to the show should expect several themes to be represented on stage.

“There’s a lot of comedy in the show, there’s a heartwarming message about accepting different people and being an individual. I think those themes are really important right now and I’m really excited to see what our students on stage and off bring to this show, their own spirit into making it a really compelling piece for our audiences,” said Rubinoff.

Bringing the magical Kingdom of Far Far Away to like requires teams from several production programs at Sheridan College.

“When we put on our shows we have our musical theatre performance on stage and then we have our incredible Technical Production for Theatre and Live Events students off stage and backstage. They’re building sets and costumes,” explained Rubinoff.

The original 2001 film is animated and the ogre from the faraway swamp will be on stage just as he was.

“There’s no questions that our actor playing Shrek has had some work getting prosthetics made. I’ve seen a little bit of the costumes. I think they’re going to wow people. I think it’s very inventive. Obviously we can’t recreate the animated film but I think if Pinocchio tells a lie, we may see his nose grow. I think that anybody that comes to see it, is going to see it leap off the animated film and just be immersed in it live in the theatre,” Rubinoff said.

Shrek: The Musical will be performed at Trafalgar Campus in Macdonald-Heaslip Hall. Tickets for the musical are sold online.

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