Despite his surly disposition, appalling manners and repellent personal hygiene, Shrek has become one of the world’s most beloved movie stars. The original “Shrek” film was released in 2001 and was an immediate success, winning an Academy Award for best animated feature. This anti-fairy tale inspired numerous sequels and spin-offs amounting to one of the highest-grossing film franchises in history.
Catapulted beyond the silver screen, “Shrek The Musical” premiered on Broadway in 2008 and was nominated for eight Tony Awards. It was only a matter of time before the show was adapted for young performers and “Shrek The Musical Jr.” has delighted audiences ever since. This condensed version provides plenty of hilarity and hijinks as students from Fairview Middle School recently learned.
“I love Shrek,” said Tim Peck, Fairview’s chorus and guitar teacher. “It’s a really funny show and there are so many different characters the kids can play and relate to really well.” As the production’s director, Peck said he selected it because “middle school is a really difficult time and this show helps us realize that we can be ourselves and we can accept ourselves.”
Song lyrics like “let your freak flag fly” and “what makes us special, makes us strong” highlight the show’s essential message encouraging self-confidence and inclusivity. In theater, “we get to step into somebody else’s shoes and, by extension, we recognize that differences are not a bad thing,” said Peck.
“The lessons students learn here they will absolutely take with them. They’re going to make different choices when they’re around people who are different than them and make choices that are healthy for themselves too. We can protect the value that the students feel within themselves and the value they see in others.”
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