Heartwarming Themes, Great Music Highlight Rosary High School’s “Shrek the Musical” Production


Join Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and their friends in the Swamp for “Shrek the Musical” this week at Rosary High School, 901 N. Edgelawn Drive, Aurora.

Show hours are 6 p.m. Thursday, November 4; 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday November 5 and 6; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 7. Tickets for the show cost $ 14 for adults and $ 12 for students and seniors.

Tickets are available online at www.rosaryhs.com/musical. For more information, call the school at (630) 896-0831.

Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks animated film, “Shrek the Musical” is a Tony Award-winning fairytale adventure, featuring all new songs by Jeanine Tesori and a book by David Lindsay-Abaire. “Shrek” brings all the beloved characters you know from the movie to life on stage. Irreverent fun for the whole family, “Shrek” proves that beauty really is in the eye of the ogre.

The production team includes Megan Drahos, producer, vocal and orchestral director; and director Laura Biancalana, both teachers at Rosary High School.

The cast, crew and pit orchestra include over 50 students from Rosary High School and Marmion Academy in Aurora. Music is provided by selected members of the Rosary Symphony Orchestra, Rosary Chamber Orchestra and Marmion-Rosary Band, as well as a few local musicians.

Adults 21 and over are invited to visit The Swamp Tavern before the show and during intermission on Friday and Saturday nights for wine, beer, and specialty cocktails. A family picnic ($ 10 / $ 5) is scheduled for Sunday at 12:30 p.m. before the morning of 2 p.m. Both events are fundraisers sponsored by Rosary Fine Arts Boosters.

The Daily Herald spoke with Drahos to find out more about this production, which aired in duplicate with two sets of tracks.

Q. Why did you choose “Shrek” as your fall musical?

Megan Drahos. We chose “Shrek The Musical” because of its light spirit, important and heartwarming themes, and truly beautiful music. We would like to thank our Rosary High School administration for allowing us to present this show and share its important messages of inner beauty, true friendship and pride in who you are. We are also so grateful that we can once again partner with our sister school Marmion Academy and share this beautiful story with a live audience as we continue to navigate this COVID time.

Q. What were the challenges in preparing for this production?

Drahos. One of the challenges was the delay. We only had eight weeks to put together the vocals, blocking, choreography and set / tech elements. Another challenge was to work with two casts. But students took advantage of these additional opportunities and became more confident as they learned from their peers. We welcomed these challenges which allowed us to do our best.

Q. What was the most rewarding or rewarding?

Drahos. It was my great joy to see the actors grow in their characters and the pit musicians bring out the charm and magic of the musical score with skill and passion. It has been a privilege to work with such talented students and musicians. We are also very fortunate to have such a generous community of parents and Rosary Alumni who have worked tirelessly on the costumes and set. Finally, it was great to see everyone’s hard work paid off when the sets, lights and sound were added.

Q. What criteria did you use to choose the lead roles? Was it a difficult or easy show to start?

Drahos. This show was difficult to launch. Leading, supporting and ensemble roles require great vocal ability as well as acting. We had a lot of talent. Character development was another big part of the selection process. Throughout the process, the performers displayed considerable talent and spirit.

Q. What do you think the audience will like the most about this show?

Drahos. We believe a large audience will appreciate the humor, the memorable songs, the relevant characters, and the meaningful lessons. Plus, the bright costumes, set design and lighting will help the audience travel from the swamp to Duloc!

Q. With COVID still circulating, what steps are you taking to ensure the safety of performers and members of the public?

Drahos. We have taken many measures to ensure the safety of performers and spectators. The artists wore masks throughout the rehearsal process. For the performances, the actors were provided with transparent shields so that the audience could witness their wonderful expressions that highlight their characters. We also made sure the public felt safe. Spectators must wear masks. Finally, if members of the public cannot attend the show in person, two of the four performances are broadcast live.

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