In Love with Shrek

Cast members discuss work put into their upcoming show


Portugal Diaz

Choreographer Ansleigh Clay directing the cast of Shrek The Musical

Gabi Dawson, Staff Writer

Coming soon to Love Auditorium, Shrek The Musical is about an ogre who gets caught up in love and must win over the princess he’s fallen for.

Along the journey are fairytale creatures including witches, talking gingerbread men, dragons, and all things whimsical who get together to protest against the idea that being different makes them weird. 

Sophomore Laiken Clarke is the dance captain for the show. She will also be playing the roles of three different characters in the musical and is enjoying the experience while being able to teach others more about her love of dance. 

“It’s really nice to be able to be a mentor to the younger ones [students] who are still learning how to dance or even to the older ones where I can teach them new things,” Clarke said.

Clarke wants to have a great performance and focus intently on getting the dancing down, but most importantly, she just wants everybody to take the theme of the show to heart and truly have fun with practice and getting to participate in the play. 

“We’ve got a bunch of different characters and some of them are a little crazy. We’ve got some crazy dances, but it’s all just for fun and to show like it’s okay to be who you are,” Clarke said. 

The director of the musical, Mr.Clay, has enthusiasm for this year’s spring show and knows how important this musical is going to be to the many students who grew up watching the movies.

“The [students] are familiar with the characters, they sort of grew up with them,” Clay said.

As for the moral of the story, the musical is really all about teaching the audience that it is okay to not be like everyone else. 

“I love the statement in the musical about ‘it’s okay to be different’ and it’s one of the reasons why I think it’s such a valuable piece of entertainment,” Clay said. “Right now you know It’s okay to be different, and we should really value those people that are different.” 

For Jeremy Clay, the highlight of his career is getting to see how theater is able to affect his students and getting to watch them fall just in love with the program as he has been for years. 

“I get rewarded [by] seeing that light bulb come on and to see that pride and when they step back and say ‘I created something’,” Clay said. 

The real reason Clay cares so deeply about putting on musicals and his students and why he is so passionate about teaching, cuts much deeper than the surface of enjoying Broadway.

“When I went to college I was probably two years behind everybody,” Clay said. 

Clay had only gotten one theater credit in high school. Going to college and being behind everyone else due to not taking many drama classes in high school, made him realize that there was a need for theater resume building in younger high school students who didn’t have as much opportunity to get drama credits. This is how he discovered he wanted to teach.

“I didn’t wasn’t anybody else to suffer like I did during my freshman and sophomore years of college,” Clay said. 

Shrek The Musical will be taking place in Love Auditorium from March 3rd through March 5th. Tickets are $5 and will be sold in the house before performances. Or, you can skip the line and buy your ticket online.