“Shrek the Musical” is QUITE a challenging show! Noted below are some of those challenges and how I overcame each one:
- Almost all of the characters in the musical are fairy tale creatures. While I was blessed to discover Barb Kalina, who had built the fabulous costumes for her high school production which we were able to rent, our cast had additional ensemble members whose costumes needed to match that of the same quality as the rentals.
- Shrek (and Fiona, at times) is an ogre. To create this iconic look, prosthetics were required. While I initially looked into create the needed prosthetic pieces myself, I eventually turned to the Tom Savini program at the Douglas Education Center in Monesson, Pennsylvania. A student of the program agreed to build the prosthetic headpiece as well as additional ears, chins, and noses needed for the ogres.
- As if getting the actor playing Shrek into his prosthetic head piece and completing his green makeup wasn’t enough, throughout the show Fiona changes from her normal self into an ogress – and back again! The most challenging transition is a very quick costume and makeup change towards the end of the show that required specific planning, additional hands, and practice to successfully pull off. In the end, my direction and assistance in that quick change successfully created that magical transition of the show.
- Shrek requires a life-sized dragon, typically realized as a large puppet. Unfortunately, all the possible rental options in the region were out of our budget. However, I had a brilliant brainstorm and in a very short amount of time, fleshed out the plans to build a life-sized, moving dragon puppet! (For further details, please see “Jezebelle” under my Theatrical Work.)
- The total budget of the production was only $1,000. This had to cover the costume rentals, the cost of creating the prosthetics, the dragon puppet rental (done in this manner to keep the production under budget), and the other miscellaneous materials and supplies.