Talent abounds in Shrek: The Musical cast

Karissa Blackburn kblackburn@civitasmedia.com

June 3, 2014

In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre — not a handsome prince — shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a bad guy with a “short” temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. And it’s just the type of mess that Southern Coalition for the Arts, Inc. believes will get the people of Logan Co. interested in the arts once more.

Southern Coalition for the Arts has chosen Shrek: The Musical to reintroduce the magic of theater into the area.

“We wanted to choose something that was big and happy and fun that both adults and children would enjoy,” Rachel Noe-Maynard, President and co-founder of Southern Coalition for the Arts said. “Something that would attract the most people so we can get the word out that we’re here. And we have a lot of programs starting with the arts and entertainment.”

A lot of programs, indeed. Maynard spoke specifically of two projects that would be extremely beneficial to the local arts community: community workshops and internships.

Southern Coalition for the Arts relies heavily on community sponsorship, but as of now, that doesn’t cover all of their expenses. For this reason, the company will be fundraising before the show to cover production expenses.

“We’re a non-profit organization, so right now the only funding we have is through community sponsors and ticket sales,” Maynard said. “We’re also trying to get grants.”

Maynard said they were pleasantly surprised with the amount of talent that showed up for casting.

“The cast consists of 32 members, and they’re all so talented,” Maynard said.

Among the cast are a few local celebrities, including DJ Bill France playing adult Shrek. Other main characters are: Maynard as Fiona, Ronnie Thompson as Pinocchio and Nathan Chapman as Donkey.

“Nathan is only 14 but he has a huge voice,” Maynard said. “We’re really excited to see what he’s going to do with the role.”

Also in the cast, playing the younger counterparts of Shrek and Fiona, are Maynard and France’s children.

“My oldest daughter is playing little Fiona and his son is little Shrek,” Maynard said. “We thought that was kind of cool.”

The show will be held at the Coalfield Jamboree on Sept. 5-6 and 12-13 with an 8 p.m. curtain each night.

Tickets will be available at the door: $10 for adults and $5 for children.

For more information, call 304-951-5950.