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Moultonborough Academy students bring "Shrek" to the stage

MA senior Rory Norwood makes his musical debut playing Shrek. (Photo by Erin Plummer) (click for larger version)
March 16, 2017
MOULTONBOROUGH — The adventures of a surly green ogre and his unlikely companions will come to the stage this weekend in Moultonborough Academy's production of "Shrek the Musical."

MA theater will present "Shrek" Thursday, Friday and Saturday night at the MA auditorium.

Director Harmoy Markey said she saw a production of "Shrek the Musical" done by the Educational Theatre Collaborative in Plymouth two years ago with her daughters. She said she initially thought it would just be a good kid's show, though she found there was some humor adults would appreciate as well. She said she thought this would be a good play for the school.

Work on the play started right after students got back from the holiday break. The number of snow days has been challenging, but Markey said they managed to work everything out.

Markey said the cast is a great mix of performers from different grades and levels of experience. She said they have a lot of new seventh and eighth grade performers as well as many upperclassmen with a lot of theater experience.

"I think because the music is so great the students take to it easier than some other shows," Markey said.

Senior Rory Norwood plays Shrek himself.

"So far he's pretty fun, he's a great character," Norwood said.

This is Norwood's first musical and the first time he has been onstage since the sixth grade play at Moultonborough Central School.

"I figured it's my senior year; might as well do something I haven't done before," Norwood said.

He approached Markey about doing the show and she immediately cast him as Shrek.

Norwood said he is working with a good cast, which has helped him out considerably.

He said when he started he was scared to sing in front of people, but he is much more comfortable with that now.

Senior Kellee Gilchrist plays Shrek's sidekick Donkey.

"He's a very funny, outgoing character that you kind of fall in love with," Gilchrist said. "Such a fun character to play."

Senior Megan Duddy plays Fiona, who is more than a princess trapped in a tower.

"She's a little bit like your unorthodox princess," Duddy said.

She said while most people might think of Belle from "Beauty and the Beast" or Cinderella, Fiona is much different.

"It was pretty interesting to play this role," Duddy said.

Both Gilchrist and Duddy and MA theater veterans and Gilchrist is a regular in shows for Interlakes Summer Theatre.

All three of them said "Shrek" was part of their childhood. Norwood said he can't count how many times he has seen the movie.

"It's so much fun doing it our senior year, going out with our childhood," Gilchrist said.

Duddy said the film has so many great one-liners.

"If you need a good laugh this is the show," Duddy said.

Gilchrist and Duddy had seen the stage version of "Shrek" before taking it on at MA. Norwood said he knew about the play by seeing it listed on Netflix.

"It's kind of a lot of pressure," Gilchrist said. "Everyone knows Shrek, knows Fiona, knows Donkey. There's a lot of expectations."

Norwood said this experience has been a lot of fun, though bittersweet considering this is his senior year.

"I'm pretty excited," Norwood said. "I know it's going to be kind of sad, but I'm here to have fun."

"I like going out with a bang, I love everyone in the cast so much," Gilchrist said.

All three of them gave major credit to Markey. They said she devotes a lot of time to this, especially in addition to her regular work. Gilchrist said they would not be able to do this without her.

"Shrek" will take the stage at the Moultonborough Academy auditorium March 16-18 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

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