‘SHREK’ stomps onto David Douglas stage

Families will be heading to the Horner Auditorium in the Hazelwood neighborhood to see “Shrek the Musical”, opening November 10 …

Some of the cast members rehearse a dance number for the show sure to please folks from all over outer East Portland: Shrek the Musical, opening in mid-November.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

It’s been a practice for the David Douglas High School (DDHS) Performing Arts Department to mount a spectacular fall musical play, and it looks as if their new presentation of Shrek the Musical is sure to uphold that tradition.

In this action scene that starts the show, fairytale creatures are being dragged into Shrek’s swamp by guards working for evil Lord Farquaad.

About the story
Set in a mythical “once upon a time” sort of land, Shrek, the Musical is the story of a hulking green ogre, Shrek, who – after having been mocked and feared his entire life by anything that crosses his path – retreats to an ugly green swamp to exist in happy isolation.

He strikes a deal with a gang of homeless fairy-tale characters that invade his sanctuary, who say they’ve been evicted; Shrek agrees to help them return to their homes. Along the way he meets a talkative donkey and a princess.

Helping student actors deepen the characters they’re playing is DDHS Theater Instructor Michael Givler.

“We’ve wanted to do the show for quite a while, but couldn’t get the performing rights until this year,” remarked the show’s director, and DDHS Theater Instructor, Michael Givler during a rehearsal.

“The underlying message of the show is self-acceptance; it’s about understanding who you are, and embracing that,” Givler told East Portland News, while the cast set up to practice another dance number.

“Learning to be who you really are is the perfect message for our time, perfect for our high school actors, and it makes it a perfect family show!” enthused Givler.

Rehearsing this scene, Lord Farquaad (center, played by Davith Thilavanh) dances with his amusement park “Plastic People” employees.

Another full stage show, played out on a stage built out into the audience, Shrek the Musical features a cast of 45 student actors, singers, and dancers. They’re accompanied by one of the school’s largest all-student orchestras, with 36 musicians.

And, even more students, including four theater technicians, bring the huge ferocious dragon to life, while 15 stage technicians to run the show’s lighting, sound, and set movement.

Working on a scene from Act II, Donkey (played by Dre Wollrabe) dances with the “Three Blind Mice”, during the musical number, “Make a Move”.

Opens November 10
The curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. on opening night, November 10.

Then, Shrek the Musical continues at 7:30 p.m. on November 11, 16, 17, and 18. Plus, they’re offering two family matinees for this show – November  12 and 19, both at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets: $10 Adults | $8 Students/Seniors.

This show is sure to sell out quickly. To reserve your tickets online now, CLICK HERE. Or visit the box office on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 3:00 until 5:30 p.m., on school days. For more information, call the Box Office at 503-261-8270.

The box office and theater in the Howard F. Horner Performing Arts Center are located at 1400 SE 130th Avenue, between Stark and Division Streets.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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