The beloved ogre and his misfit fairy tale friends take the stage May 1

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Shrek, played by Brandon Watkins, agrees to go and fight for the fairy tale creatures in Centennial High School's production of 'Shrek.'

The beloved swamp-dwelling green ogre, the chatterbox donkey, the slightly temperamental princess and other fairy tale misfits are about to take the stage as Centennial High School presents “Shrek the Musical.”

The play opens Thursday, May 1, and runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through May 10, with all performances at 7 p.m.

“Each character is trying to find acceptance in their own ways,” said senior Marina Bubnova, who plays Fiona. “They’re muddling through what they expected their lives to be like versus what they’re actually like.

“I want audiences to see that all people have their individual worth, and that everybody has something to offer to everybody else. If we accepted that, everybody would be a lot happier.”

Bubnova noted that for the play, she makes a one-minute transformation into Fiona, pulling on a padded green costume and having her face painted green.

Like the DreamWorks animated film, the drama department says, the musical stays true to the “fractured fairy tale vision, where dragons are friendly, swamps are better than castles and the true hero isn’t handsome or noble but a grouchy-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside ogre who is more or less content with himself and his life in a swamp.”

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - From left, Marina Bubnova is Fiona, Dave Miller is Donkey and Brandon Watkins is Shrek in Centennial High School's upcoming play.

The family-friendly musical features a score of 19 songs by Jeanine Tesori and David Lindsay-Abaire. Along with Bubnova, the play features 35 cast members, starring senior Brandon Watkins as Shrek, junior Dave Miller as Donkey and senior Matt Kinnee as the villain, Lord Farquaad.

Kinnee, who is 6-foot-2, spends the play in padding on his knees portraying the tiny Farquaad. “I’ve never played a character so full of himself,” Kinnee joked. “Sometimes I imagine myself as the cartoon to help. Everything is overexaggerated in this play.

“I hope kids go home and talk about the play for a week. It’s a classic story families love and can bond over.”

Melanie Steere, a senior, plays the White Rabbit and a performer. “I want audiences to know that whoever you are, you are beautiful,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what differences you have.”

“Shrek the Musical” is directed by Kellie McCarty and choreographed by Sharon V. Miller, with vocal direction by Rebecca Chelson.

McCarty said the play was challenging in that people have preconceived notions of the movie and it’s hard to add artistic touches to a beloved classic. She said the play’s lessons are timeless.

“My two favorite moments are the end of Act I and II,” McCarty said. “Society judges us so much and places us in roles because of what we look like on the outside versus the inside or what we can contribute. This show makes us take note that we need to look deeper into people.”


What: Centennial High School’s production of “Shrek the Musical.”

When: 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday May 1-3 and May 8-10.

Where: Centennial High School Auditorium, 3505 S.E. 182nd Ave., Gresham.

Tickets: $10 for adults, $8 for students and senior citizens.

Info: 503-762-7511 or

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