Oconee Youth Playhouse presents SHREK the Musical

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 Oconee County Civic Center, 2661 Hog Mountain Rd., Watkinsville  See map
Shrek, Fiona and Donkey appeared at the downtown Athens Parade of Lights.
Shrek, Fiona and Donkey appeared at the downtown Athens Parade of Lights.
Oconee Youth Playhouse will kick off 2014 with some ogre-sized entertainment, presenting Shrek the Musical at the Oconee County Civic Center Jan. 10-12 and 17-19.  Billed as “the greatest fairy tale never told,” the musical is based on the popular 2001 DreamWorks film.  The Broadway show, which opened in 2008, captured numerous Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical.  NOTE: The final Sunday matinee of SHREK is SOLD OUT.

The OYP production features Alex Joyner, a junior at North Oconee High School, in the title role, with Anna Cail, a senior at Prince Avenue Christian Academy as Princess Fiona.  Alex was seen as the Cowardly Lion in OYP’s production of The Wizard of Oz last spring. Anna, who has performed in numerous OYP shows since 2007, was last seen as Miss Dorothy in Thoroughly Modern Millie last January.

Another longtime OYP performer is Andrew Youngerman, a senior at Athens Academy, who plays the Donkey.  Andrew also made his OYP debut in 2007 and has performed various comedic roles since, including Trevor Graydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Kyle, the UPS Guy, in Legally Blonde.

The villain of the show, Lord Farquaad, is played by NOHS junior Simon Beckham, who played Sebastian the Crab in OYP’s August production of The Little Mermaid.  Simon also was the Scarecrow in OYP’s The Wizard of Oz.

“We have an amazing cast top to bottom and everyone is very excited about bringing Shrek to the stage,” says OYP co-director Shane Hannon. “Everyone knows the movie, and the Broadway show takes Shrek to a new level.”

Shrek is a technically challenging show, notes Terra Hannon, another co-director.  “For one thing, we have to deal with a dragon puppet that requires five people to move on stage,” she says. “Additionally, Fiona has to transform from princess to ogress and back again, and do it very quickly.”

Coordinating things backstage will be Kelly Ozust, who serves as stage manager as well as the third co-director.  Longtime musical director Rachel Townes will direct the live orchestra that provides accompaniment for all OYP shows.
Tickets for Shrek are $16 for adults, $14 for students and seniors, and $12 for age 12 and under. They will be on sale at Oconee Youth School of Performance, 1050 Jamestown Blvd. in Watkinsville, Jan. 6-9 and 13-16 from 4-6 p.m., as well as at the Oconee Country Civic Center starting an hour before each performance. Cash or check only.

Shrek will be presented at 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, with Sunday matinees at 3 p.m.  For more information, see the Oconee Youth Playhouse website or Facebook page.    


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