Shrek, fairytale creatures take the stage at Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 31 March 2022 at 4:22 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Natalie Baron plays Pinocchio, one of the Fairytale Creatures in Albion’s High School’s production of Shrek the Musical.

Shows are Friday at 7 p.m., and Saturday at noon and 7 p.m. in the Middle School Auditorium. Tickets are available at the door for $5.

Pinocchio and the Fairytale Creatures are banished from the Kingdom of Duloc by the evil Lord Farquaad. He sentences them into penal transportation for being freaks, under penalty of death if they ever return.

But Pinocchio leads the characters in a revolt against Farquaad’s rule. This photo shows the characters performing “Freak Flag,” where they band together to overthrow Farquaad.

Jeffrey Brown plays the Lord Farquaad, here singing “The Ballad of Farquaad,” where we learn he was abandoned in the woods by his father.

Jeffrey, a senior, has been in the drama program since sixth grade, and has often been cast in the silliest roles.

“Lord Farquaad is very kiddy and funny, and he’s also a bad guy,” Jeffrey said. “I get to show a lot of personality. I love being a funny person on stage and bringing a smile to people.”

Danielle Wyant, left, and Zoe Cusson both star as the dragon that guards the castle where Princess Fiona has spent many years waiting to be rescued by a prince.

These scene shows Fiona through the years – from left Mallory Kozody, Leah Kania and Ella Trupo. They are singing, “I Know It Is Today,” when the prince finally comes to the rescue.

Rowan Ford plays Shrek and Leah Kania is Fiona, shown here in a rehearsal without their green face makeup for being ogres. After a rough start, the two characters fall in love.

Rowan and Leah are both seniors and are happy they can perform a musical in front of a live audience while the cast doesn’t have to wear masks.

Rowan said the cast feels like a family, which is the best part of being in the drama program.

“Everyone is kind to one another,” he said.

Leah likes the zany characters in the show.

“I’m glad I’m back on stage with all my friends,” she said. “In this show you can be over the top and overly dramatic.”

Faith Bennett is one the of Three Little Pigs. There are 22 students in the cast and 48 involved total in the production.

Myles Miller is the wise-cracking Donkey, shown here with the Three Blind Mice, from left: Mallary Ashbery, Hannah Coolbaugh and Ella Trupo.

Myles, a senior, said the Donkey character has been fun, but the costume has been challenging because it is so thick for all of the dances.

She brings lots of energy to the role.

“I am very loud and they needed that,” she said.

The show, with all of its craziness, sends an important message.

“If you watch Shrek, the one thing you should take home is self acceptance,” Myles said. “It’s OK to be a freak sometimes.”

James Ruiz is the Ugly Duckling. He and the Fairytale Creatures are victorious and sing, “I’m A Believer.”

Rowan Ford as Shrek and Myles Miller as Donkey perform “Who I’d Be” to close out the first half of the show. Shrek shares he has feelings for Fiona.

The Fairytale Creatures confront the vertically challenged Lord Farquaad, who they discover is a freak as well for his stature and after being banished by his father.

Connor Doran is director of the musical for Albion. He said he is proud of the students and production team for more than three months of hard work on the show.

“This is a story for our time,” Doran said. “It’s about acceptance and affirmation and honesty with who we are as people. It’s OK to be who we are.”