Shaler Area High School presents 'Shrek The Musical' -

Shaler Area High School presents ‘Shrek The Musical’

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 | 11:00 PM

More than 100 Shaler Area High School students will stage “Shrek The Musical” for two weekends in March.

The 2008 Broadway musical is based on the 2001 DreamWorks Animated film “Shrek.” The Shaler Area production follows the title character, an ogre played by junior Sonny DeMasi, as the unlikely hero in an adventure featuring a cast of fairy-tale creatures. Shrek teams up with Donkey, played by senior Michael Bly, as they set off on a journey to save the reluctant Princess Fiona, played by senior Kelsey Marshall. The duo will help rescue the fairy-tale creatures after Lord Farquaad, played by senior Alex Almonte, banishes them from the Kingdom of Duloc.

The cast also includes senior Madeline Bartosh as Gingy, senior Madison Reed as Pinocchio, as well as junior Zoe Babbit and seniors Michaela Brining and Emma Walter as the Dragon Trio.

Many of the musical’s characters speak with accents, such as Shrek’s Scottish vernacular.

“I think it comes naturally. It’s always been a thing of mine to do voices. Whenever I realized we were doing ‘Shrek (The Musical),’ I was like, maybe I will try to do it.,” DeMasi said of auditioning for the role.

Similarly, Reed said that she has Pinocchio’s humorous voice “down.”

“It’s been so much fun, especially prototyping the nose to figure out how we’re going to get it to grow,” she said. “It’s been a really good time and getting to work with all of the fairy-tale creatures – they all have their own stories and we’re all together in it.”

The musical entails Marshall undergoing a challenging 2-minute costume change, during which she must transform into an ogress.

“I’ve had costume changes, but not anything where I had to turn an entirely different color,” she said.

Bly has considered that it will prove impossible to top Eddie Murphy’s vocal performance as Donkey in the film.

“So, it’s like how can I kind of recreate his voice while also putting my own spin on it so it’s not the same Donkey that you know and expect? It’s something that I’ve been working on myself. So, I feel like finding that balance has been pretty integral to that.”

A highlight of the show for Marshall is performing “I know it’s Today,” with sixth-grader Abby Tepshich and freshman Lauren Lorenz portraying younger versions of Princess Fiona. Marshall said that she and Lorenz – who also started performing in high school musicals as sixth-graders – are serving as Abby’s mentors.

DeMasi and Bly noted that their real-life friendship is beneficial on stage.

“It makes everything so easy. We kind of know each other’s timing when it comes to comedy, … it’s really easy for us to shine as a duo and as individuals,” Bly said.

Some students have production responsibilities aside from acting. For instance, DeMasi and Reed are the show’s junior and senior student producers, respectively. Reed said that she is in charge of taking attendance at large rehearsals and boosting morale.

“We try to make jokes. Keep it lighthearted, but also we try to make sure they (students) get their homework done because (grade) eligibility is a big thing here, too,” she said.

Bly and high schooler Elisa Gabriel, who also is a featured dancer and elf in the show, are dance apprentices, assisting Cassie Dudley, Shaler Area Elementary School teacher with choreography.

“It’s a pretty big responsibility for us as students and cast members trying to create our own roles as well on top of it,” Bly said. “I think I speak for both of us when I say that we wouldn’t exchange it for anything else as part of this program.”


Shaler Area High School presents ‘Shrek The Musical’

When: 7 p.m. March 6, 7, 13 and 14; and 2 p.m. March 8

Where: Shaler Area High School Auditorium, 381 Wible Run Road, Glenshaw

Tickets: Tickets are available online (sales end two hours before each show) at, in person at the Shaler Area High School Activities Office, from 6:45 a.m.-2:45 p.m. Monday-Friday, and at the Shaler Area High School Auditorium ticket booth, one hour prior to performances.

Details: Contact the high school activities office at 412-492-1200, press 8 and ext. 1530