"Shrek: The Musical" Delights on All Levels
A donkey, an ogre,a princess, and more than 20 fairy tale characters take to a stage. While this might sound like the beginning of a joke, OES's recent All-School production of Shrek: The Musical took some serious work!
Longtime OES Performing Arts educator David Gomes led scores of colleagues and students in the effort to bring Shrek to life as its director. A dedicated tech crew, hardworking actors, and on-set musicians providing the production's orchestral element took this theater show well beyond green-faced creatures and ridiculous royalty.
We caught up with some of the many amazing Aardvarks who helped make this stunning visual and auditory experience a reality (although the Muffin Man was sadly unavailable for comment):
What made you want to be a part of Shrek?
Dana Lewis, OES World Languages educator ("Bishop"): "I had never been in a play before, and I've always been interested in exploring theater . . . but I just don't have time to attend all of the rehearsals! I happened to be in the right place at the right time since they cast several faculty members in the role of the Bishop. It was a perfect match!"
Tyler T. '25: "Ever since I was little, I've loved acting. In first grade I took acting classes and I loved them! Since I wasn't able to be in my class play, I thought [Shrek] would be amazing."
What was the rehearsal process like?
Julia M. '23 ("Sergeant" and Tech Helper): "Rehearsal was hard; everyone worked long nights (especially at the end), but it was very rewarding. I remember the first time the entire cast came together to rehearse and there was this amazing energy in the room that was so inspiring. As challenging as it was, I wish I could do it all over again."
Do you have a favorite line you delivered, song you sang, piece of music you placed, or scene you helped bring to life?
Bryan T. '18, Orchestra Percussion: "'When Words Fail.' Every time Shrek walked away dejectedly with a broken heart, my right hand covered MY sobbing heart when it should have been getting ready to play the bongos."
Nico J. '22 ("Pinocchio"): "One of my favorite lines I delivered was, 'Or the ones that say I'm a wooden boy! What?! I'm not a wooden boy [prosthetic nose extends]—uh, I have a glandular condition.'"
What was it like working with people from other OES Divisions and other parts of the school?
Josie C. '25 ("Teen Fiona"): "It was really fun! At first I was kind of scared, but I became good friends with some girls named Jillian, Brooke, and Ella. They were all really nice to me!"
Is there a fellow member of the Shrek team you'd like to recognize for a job well done?
Edward P. '18 ("Shrek"): "Noe J. ("Donkey") and Harper H. ("Fiona") both did a tremendous job. It was great fun working with them and I wish them luck in their future acting careers."
Nancy Teskey, Orchestra Director: "Huge thanks to the pit orchestra, and to David Gomes. I can't imagine not doing another musical with him, and I will sorely miss working with him next year!"
Andrew G. '20: "I'd like to personally thank our Stage Manager Cara S. '18. She poured her heart and soul into this production; this musical honestly could not have happened without the shocking amount of work she did."
(Photos by OES educator John Holloran.)
"Thank you, Class of 2019, for being a class that inspires the future," Head of Upper School Asha Appel said of the graduating seniors.
"This is a group that is always changing, learning, and growing," Head of Middle School Ann Sulzer said about the Class of 2023. "It has really been an honor to see them grow into who they are becoming."
"This class embodies a wonderful combination of qualities," Head of Lower School David Lowell says. "Curiosity, joy, and the ability to know when there's important work to do."
The Class of 2019 spent some of their last days in school on a rafting trip in Central Oregon this week. They camped, hiked, played music, and spent quality time with each other to celebrate some of their last moments together as Upper Schoolers at OES.