May 19, 2016
For immediate release
Local Children to Star in the Manitoba Premiere of Shrek The Musical at Rainbow Stage
SHREK THE MUSICAL | BASED ON THE DREAMWORKS ANIMATION MOTION PICTURE AND THE BOOK BY WILLIAM STEIG | BOOK & LYRICS BY DAVID LINDSAY-ABAIRE | MUSIC BY JEANINE TESORI | ORIGINALLY PRODUCED ON BROADWAY BY DREAMWORKS THEATRICALS AND NEAL STREET PRODUCTIONS | ORIGINAL PRODUCTION DIRECTED BY JASON MOORE & ROB ASHFORD | DIRECTED AND CHOREOGRAPHED BY RAY HOGG | CONDUCTED BY ANTHONY BASTIANON | PREVIEWS AUGUST 10 | OPENS AUGUST 11 | CLOSES AUGUST 31
“Casting for Shrek is now complete,’ says Artistic Director Ray Hogg. “After months of auditions and searching, we have finally found our 16 member children’s chorus, and our three young stars who will portray Shrek and Princess Fiona as children.” Ranging in ages from 9 to 16 years old, the children each had to take part in as rigorous an audition process as the adult actors.
When discussing the audition process, Mr. Hogg says: “In dance-heavy shows, we always begin with a dance call. We teach a large group of hopefuls a short dance combination with the goal of assessing their level of technique as well as how well they interpret and perform the choreography. We then have the actors perform the dance in small groups, then make the first round of cuts. From there we see each actor who has survived the cut one by one for a singing and acting audition. I always ask actors auditioning for Rainbow Stage to prepare songs and scenes from the show that they are auditioning for – that way I can compare apples to apples and choose the best, most qualified actors for our shows. In this case, we sent all of the children the same selection and asked them to familiarize themselves with it and be ready to deliver one at a time in the audition room. I must admit that I was completely blown away by the level of talent and professionalism that the children displayed. Some of them came in more prepared than their adult counterparts!”
Winnipeg high-schooler Madison Lacombe will play the role of Teen Fiona, she is joined by middle-schoolers Danika Burdeniuk and Mackenzie Wojcik who play the roles of Young Fiona and Young Shrek respectively. “These three youngsters stood out for me thanks to their precocious ability to connect emotionally to the text and to deliver an opening night ready performance during their audition. Each of them captured my heart immediately with their joyful energy and raw talent” says Mr. Hogg, “I cannot wait to get started in the rehearsal hall with them to further discover their talents and help them to develop their skills more fully.”
Mr. Wojcik, Miss Lacombe and Miss Burdeniuk are joined by 15 bright young actors in the children’s chorus: Chloe Bingham, Sarah Buffie, Liesl Decksheimer, Hayden DeJong, Tyler Everley, Delaney Hannah Giesbrecht, Haley Kowalski, Cassandra Labossiere, Arianna Laluk, Lia Loewen, Katelynne Lawrence, Meaghan Moloney, Joshua Pchajek, William Ward, and Yasmine Ravandi.
Rounding out the 36 person cast are: Carson Nattrass (Shrek), Jeigh Madjus (Donkey), Heather McGuigan (Princess Fiona), Peter Huck (Lord Farquaad), Becky Frohlinger (Gingy), Aaron Hutton (Pinocchio), and Nicky Lawrence (Dragon). Also in the cast are Evan Taylor Benyacar, Devon Michael Brown, Colleen Furlan, Trudy Lee Gayle, Brittany Hunter, Laura Kolisnyk, Simon Miron, Brett Owen, Joseph Sevillo, Jeff Soucy, Sarah Lynn Strange, and Cory Wojcik.
Shrek The Musical will be directed & choreographed by Ray Hogg and conducted by Anthony Bastianon (making his Rainbow Stage debut). Mr. Hogg is joined by assistant director Kimberley Rampersad, assistant choreographers Sam Manchulenko, and Lexy Cox, as well as assistant children’s director Catherine Wreford, and assistant children’s choreographer Rebekah Jones.
To set up interviews, please contact:
Julie Eccles, Executive Director 204-989-5261 x2224 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Assigned seat tickets are now on-sale starting at $28 for children; there are sponsored unassigned seat ticket packages starting at $17 for preview night.
www.rainbowstage.ca/ticket or 204-989-0888 or 1-888-989-0888