Shrek (Ashton Smith) takes a drink while Princess Fiona (Kariya Johnson) and Donkey (Ayden Humphries) wait for him to finish. The trio star in Sequim Middle School’s production of “Shrek the Musical Jr.” on March 8-10 at Sequim High School. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Shrek (Ashton Smith) takes a drink while Princess Fiona (Kariya Johnson) and Donkey (Ayden Humphries) wait for him to finish. The trio star in Sequim Middle School’s production of “Shrek the Musical Jr.” on March 8-10 at Sequim High School. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

‘Shrek’ comes to life at high school auditorium

‘Shrek: The Musical Jr.’

Presented by Sequim Middle School

Directed by Dave McInnes with musical direction by John Lorentzen

When: 7 p.m., Thursday, March 8, Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10

Where: Sequim High School Auditorium, 601 N. Sequim Ave.

Tickets: By donation at the door

Sequim Middle School students and staff, parents and grandparents have been busy since November preparing for this year’s production of “Shrek: the Musical Jr.”

The show will run at 7 p.m. from March 8-10 at the Sequim High School Auditorium, 601 N. Sequim Ave. and tickets are by donation at the door.

Proceeds from the show will go toward a fund earmarked for new choir room risers.

There were 80 middle school students that auditioned for the show and 31 parts available, Director Dave McInnes said.

To audition for the show, students had to sing a song for John Lorentzen, Sequim Middle School and Sequim High School choir director, with him accompanying, acapella, or have their source of music.

Students also had to read audition sides for McInnes.

“The students are the true heroes,” McInnes said.

“They have been in rehearsal since late November, when they were given their scripts.” “They rehearsed Tuesday through Thursday each week in the middle school choir room the the directors.”

McInnes said many students are new to the stage while while others have been in previous middle school productions, such as several of the lead cast members, Kariya Johnson, cast as Princess Fiona, Keaton King, cast as Lord Farquaad and Ayden Humphries cast as Donkey.

Johnson, an eighth-grader, was cast in “The Lion King” last year and “Once Upon a Mattress” and said playing the role of Princess Fiona (there are three, including Johnson) reminds her that this is her last year in a middle school production

“I think Fiona really reminded me of a character I played in sixth grade; they’re both very spunky and happy people,” she said.

“It just reminded me that it’s my last year and I’ve loved Shrek movies for so many years, and it’s just kind of a fun play,” Johnson said.

King, a seventh grader, also was cast in “The Lion King,” last year and has been acting since he was about eight-years-old. He said this is his first time playing the role of a villain but that his character of Lord Farquaad in this show is very fitting.

“I feel like I’m naturally short for my age and I didn’t think I would actually need to be on my knees for the production,” he said. “I thought I would just be my normal height but I’ve cut myself in half.”

Humphries, also a seventh-grader, said this is his second show he’s acted in but he is used to playing the role of comical relief.

“I’m just naturally silly,” he said. “I’ve never really played anything other than comical relief and I was Timon in the Lion King (last year).”

Ashton Smith, cast as Shrek, said this is his first production playing a lead role and that this is an all-around fun show with his fellow cast members.

“Me and Donkey have a lot of fun,” Smith said. “The Sequim stage will be in for a real treat as you will be transformed by these talented actors,” McInnes said.

Choreography was done by McInnes and Abby Norman, a Sequim High School senior, who choreographed the Rats.

Parent and grandparent volunteers took on the task of set design, set building, costume borrowing, adapting, reforming and costume construction, as well as gathering and making props.

The rest of the cast for this production includes: MaKayla Allen, Brody Anderson, Abigail Benjamin, Danika Chen, Hailey Collier, Ruby Coulson, Maddy Dietzman, Korbyn Domning, Ashton Drew, EmmaLee Dunham, Ava Fuller, Jordan Hegtvedt, Teagan Hogue, Jackson Imholt, Julia Jack, Julia Jeffers, Taryn Johnson, Tilly Lundstrom, Emily McAiley, Lili Mitchell, Pearle Peterson, Garren Pocock, Marley Reeder, Phoebe Sampson, Norah Schmidt, Anastasia Updike, Talon Wilhelm, Isabella Williams and Henry Hughes.

Donkey (Ayden Humphries) gives Shrek (Ashton Smith) a boost to help Princess Fiona (Kariya Johnson) in her castle. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Donkey (Ayden Humphries) gives Shrek (Ashton Smith) a boost to help Princess Fiona (Kariya Johnson) in her castle. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Lord Farquaad (Keaton King), in center, makes his appearance in “Shrek the Musical Jr” to mixed reaction with other fairy tale characters, from left Donkey (Ayden Humphries), Shrek (Ashton Smith) and Princess Fiona (Kariya Johnson). Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Lord Farquaad (Keaton King), in center, makes his appearance in “Shrek the Musical Jr” to mixed reaction with other fairy tale characters, from left Donkey (Ayden Humphries), Shrek (Ashton Smith) and Princess Fiona (Kariya Johnson). Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

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