This weekend a group of local youth performers will stage a production of “Shrek: The Musical” at the Willingham Theater in the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center in Yadkinville. More than 50 young performers will bring this delightful fairy tale to life for four shows: June 3 at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.; June 4 at 7 p.m.; and June 5 at 3 p.m. Tickets for the show are $10 per person and can be purchased online at www.yadkinarts.org/explore/event-ticket-marketplace/ or by phone by calling the Ticket Office at 336-679-2941.
“We are very excited to see how well this production of ‘Shrek: The Musical’ is coming along,” said Cultural Arts Center Director Lindsay Craven. “These kids have been tirelessly working since early April to put together a show unlike any others you’ve seen at the Willingham Theater. I look forward to seeing the audiences response to the incredible amount of talent that will take the stage.”
Everyone involved with the production is excited to see this popular tale come to life and they said it has been a great experience for the children in the cast.
“Our Shrek cast is a community of talented young folks,” said Tammy Reavis, grandmother of cast member Maddie Heller. “This play has helped all of the kids believe in themselves while gaining respect for themselves and each other as capable performers. They have had a great time as they worked hard together.”
The show has been much more than an after school and summer activity, it has been a learning experience as well.
“Being a part of Shrek has been a great experience for my daughters,” said Dr. James Sheek. “They have developed skills that have made them more confident on stage and off. More importantly, they have worked hard and enjoyed the process of preparing a show for the stage. Director Jessie Grant’s feedback has always been honest, instructive, and productive, as she has worked to craft this production. Her rehearsals have been treated as learning experiences for the young people involved.”
Patty Grant, long-time member of the theater community in Yadkin County, expressed her pride in the production and in her daughter who directs the show.
“Seeing this many talented young people doing a Broadway musical on the Willingham Theater stage is a dream come true for many of us,” she said. “John and Donna Willingham, the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center staff, and the Yadkin Arts Council Board have made this production possible. Local businesses have contributed funds and services to make the show a magical reality. The intimate space of the theater is perfect for young performers and the stage there has become a welcome second home for this collection of misfits, their characters in the show. Thanks for bringing Duloc to your home town, Jessie Grant. Your dad would be so very proud.”
In the title role of Shrek is William Hemric. Playing the role of Donkey is Luke Miller. Gabriela Sixtos plays Fiona, and Caleb Gerber is Prince Farquaad. Pinocchio is played by Steele Howell. Also in the cast are Sarah Bennett, Amilya Blevins, Ashlyn Brooks, Ashton Brown, Ella Campbell, Emily Campbell, Kaitlyn Connors, Josh Doub, Mayson Foster, Lincoln Funderburk, Katelyn Gentry, Elijah Golden, Fatima Gonzalez, Mikalah Gordy, Abigail Gordy, Andy Groce, Kennedy Hall, Sandra Hammesfahr, Taylor Heath, Maddie Heller, Jesse Houston, Annemarie Hutchens, Kerianne Hutchens, Kelsi Jester, Christopher Kiser, Anna Kumer, Dylan Longworth, Autumn Longworth, Emma Longworth, Matthew Lowe, Karina Macosko, Brady Miller, Lillian North, Alikay Oakley, Alli Pardue, Chloe Childress, Kaitlyn Poe, Mallory Rhyne, Laurie Roberts, Joshua Sarfert, Zola Sheek, Ava Sheek, Kaylee Shore, Bobbie Southard, Maya Tarbet, Carlie Taylor, Mackenzie Warden, Chloe Winebarger, Hannah Wood and Ellie Wooten.
For more information on upcoming events at the Willingham Theater and Yadkin Cultural Arts Center, visit www.yadkinarts.org.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.