By Katie Benfield
A local theatre is about to amaze the High Country with a play-adaptation of a classic Dreamworks’ story. From July 30 until Aug. 1, the Beanstalk Community Theatre will perform “Shrek the Musical” at Watauga High School. On Thursday and Friday, the performances will be at 7 p.m., and on Saturday it will be at 2 p.m.
“Shrek the Musical” is based on the Dreamworks’ 2001 film Shrek, in which a lonely and cynical ogre named Shrek, who struggles with anger management and self-acceptance, sets off with a goofy and lovable donkey to complete a task assigned by Lord Fargquaad, a king who banned all fairytale creatures to Shrek’s swamp.
In the movie, the Ogre is tasked to rescue a princess named Fiona from a dragon-guarded tower so that Lord Furquaad can marry her. If the task is completed, the Lord promises Shrek that he will remove all of the creatures from his swamp.
However, through all the twists and turns that occur during this adventure, Shrek and his friends learn a lot about themselves and that what’s on the inside is more important than what’s on the outside.
Amy Beane, creative director of the upcoming musical, said that the message the show portrays is incredibly relevant today.
“It is about loving who you are as a person and that we are all different,” Beane said. “That’s very important in our country right now because we are all different, but we have a lot of similarities, too.”
The show has been in rehearsal since June 1, and it has a cast of over 60 people, ranging from 4 to 60 years old. According to Beane, “Shrek the Musical” has more adults in it than any production they’ve put on previously.
“We chose this musical because we wanted to get more adults involved, and we knew that the roles the show allowed for were going to need strong voices and strong adult roles. All our lead roles are older high school kids and adults,” Beane said. “However, we also wanted it to be kid friendly, and we wanted kids involved as well, and this was the perfect show for that.”
Putting on a production with a cast this size, with such a variation in ages, can be quite the challenge.
“It’s such a large cast that it’s impossible for just any one person to do. The hardest part is keeping everyone, especially the younger ones, entertained and organized. I couldn’t do it without my team,” Beane said. “It’s amazing how well the team comes together and keeps everything organized so well.”
Although it can be hectic and challenging, especially with such a large cast, Beane said, there are also rewarding aspects and the payoff is well worth it.
“I like seeing our community come together and work towards a common goal. I’ve seen kids go from being scared in auditions to being lead roles in other productions,” Beane said. “I like to see everyone working together and grow in self-confidence. Seeing a 4 year old and a 60 year old in the same production, and it not being a nuisance, and all of them having fun together is amazing.”
With a show like “Shrek”, which reaches audiences of all ages, it’s important for the audience to take away a message that the cast has worked so hard to perfect.
“It’s the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” she said. “We all have the same blood running through our veins, even if we look different on the outside.”
Along with the musical, there will be a silent auction going on over the course of the three days. The winners will be announced on Saturday, the day of the last performance. All auctions are anonymous and some of the objects available include: four one-day hopper Disney World tickets donated by Disney, Tweetsie tickets and several products from local businesses.
To purchase tickets, go to the Beanstalk Community Theatre ticket website.
For group sales or to purchase front or second row seats, call Amy Beane at 828-312-0263.