Fairy-tale creatures of all kinds will come to life this upcoming weekend in the OCEAN Arts production of Shrek the Musical, Jr., starring the talented students of William Floyd Middle School.
Shrek The Musical Jr. is based on the 2001 Dreamworks animated film featuring a grumpy green ogre on a hero’s journey with a wise-cracking emotionally-needy talking donkey. Their quest is to rescue Princess Fiona and save their swamp, but love interferes in unexpected ways. The message is to love and accept each other and ourselves, and that being different is not only okay, it’s something to be proud of. There are tons of laughs along the way, and songs the audience will recognize from the movie.
Working with OCEAN Arts for the first time is Kelly Dechene, a seasoned director with experience in performing arts advocacy as the president of the Eastport-South Manor Community for the Arts. She also directs the ESM elementary and middle school musical productions, and owns her own business called Barefoot Theater. “The William Floyd Middle School kids are one of the best casts I’ve worked with,” she said. “They have done nothing but give me 100% of themselves and I’m so proud of them; they’re committed to putting on a really great show.” Also on the production team is musical director Melissa Pilocane, who teaches elementary band for the WFSD, and production assistant Lindsey Chapman. April Franzino and Cathy Meinhold are handling their typical behind-the-scenes tasks as co-producers. “We’re so happy to have Kelly on board,” said Franzino. “We shared costumes for our middle school shows last fall and realized she has the same mission and passion as OCEAN Arts – to bring the arts to our communities.” When they needed a director for this show, she was the first name on the list.
This production is another in a continuing series of collaborative community efforts. OCEAN Arts is a new non-profit, connected to the William Floyd Community Summit, a valuable partner in these productions. They work closely with the Community Library Friends of the Arts Inc., and with the William Floyd School District, which provides funding for performance rights and materials, as well as other support. “We’re so proud of these unique partnerships we have formed,” said Meinhold. “Together we can provide opportunities that no one organization could provide alone.”
Shrek The Musical Jr. will be presented at William Floyd Middle School, 630 Moriches-Middle Island Road on Friday, May 5 at 7 pm and Saturday May 6 at 1 pm and 7 pm. Tickets are $10 in advance and $11 at the door. Children 2 and under are free on an adult lap. All tickets are general admission, no reserved seating. Purchase advance tickets at the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community library. Visit www.oceanarts.org for more information on that organization.
Pictured: Matt Kolongowski as Shrek, Brendan Bertos as Donkey and Briana Start as Princess Fiona.