Highland County will be heavily represented when the Summer Youth Program at the Paxton Theatre in Bainbridge presents three performances of “Shrek The Musical Jr.” this weekend.
Children from five area Southern Ohio counties, including many from Highland County, make up the cast, and Jeff and Jenna Horick, both Hillsboro educators, are two of three driving forces behind the production.
“Jeff and Jenna … selflessly donate the majority of their summer vacation to make this theatre camp and production available for area youth,” the theatre said in a news release. “As arts programs continue to lose footing in school systems across the country, community programs like this one, and the dedicated volunteers who make them happen, are more important than ever.”
Performances are Friday, Aug. 4 and Saturday, Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 6 at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children age 12 and under. They can be purchased at PaxtonTheatre.org. For more information call the theatre at 740-634-3333.
Bainbridge muralist Pam Kellough has painted an impressive mural across the back wall of the stage to bring Shrek’s forest to life inside the Paxton. The painting is styled after Southern Ohio’s native, temperate, deciduous forest and will remain on the wall to serve as a backdrop for varied events for years to come.
Many other community members have stepped in to help the production in various ways including backstage crew, set building, costuming, choreography, lighting, sound, promotion, concessions and more.
The local cast includes: Mackenzie Mash as Storyteller 1; Sammy Cameron as Storyteller 2; Lydia Couser as Storyteller 3; Hannah Kessinger as Mama Ogre; Simon Gabel as Papa Ogre; Ethan Kirk as Little Ogre; Zeb Pickering-Polstra as Shrek; Sarah Wueller as Captain of the Guards; Emma Schweikart and Stella Storts as birds; Anna Wiseman, Brianna Wiseman and Corinne Thery as deer; Kara Russell as Pincocchio; Nick Turner as Big Bad Wolf; Logan Savage as Pig 1; Olivia Swackhammer as Pig 2; Grace Tomlinson as Pig 3; Livia Wiseman as Wicked Witch; Grady Horick as Peter Pan; Grace Wiseman as Mama Bear; Kate Alexander as Papa Bear; Riley Griffin as Baby Bear; Liam Horick as Ugly Duckling; Duncan Pickering-Polstra as Donkey; Simon Gabel as Lord Farquaad; Tatum Burns as Gingy; Chloe Newman as Young Fiona; Sara Gabel as Teen Fiona; Emma Horick as Princess Fiona; Kyree Parker as Puss in Boots; Ethan Kirk, Hannah Hodson, Nyssa Reno and Halle Wisecup as knights; Alayna McIntosh as Dragon; Hannah Kessinger, Livia Wisecup, Mackenzie Mash and Sarah Gabel as Dragon Singers; Marissa Prince as Pied Piper; Mariah Wiseman, Mya McIntosh and Kate Alexander as Pied Piper Rats; Aidan Kirk as Bishop; Chloe Newman as Dwarf; and Marissa Prince, Lydia Clouser, Sammy Cameron, Mackenzie Marsh, Corrine Thery, Brianna Parker, Anna Wiseman, Mariah Wiseman, Mya McIntosh, Nyssa Reno, Hannah Hodson and Aidan Kirk as Duloc Singers.
“In a faraway kingdom, the green ogre Shrek finds his swamp invaded by banished fairy tale misfits, runaways who’ve been cast off by Lord Farquaad, a tiny terror with big ambitions,” the news release said. “When Shrek sets off with a wise-cracking donkey to confront Farquaad, he’s handed a task – if he rescues feisty Princess Fiona from the Dragon-guarded tower, his swamp will be returned to him. But, a fairy tale wouldn’t be complete without unexpected twists and turns along the way.”