Behind the Scenes of the Production of Shrek- Clara Vales ’25

This past February, Oak Knoll students, parents, and faculty members gathered in the Campion Center to view the incredible production of Shrek, a lighthearted, playful musical centered around the tender love story between an ogre and a princess with a massive secret. Known widely as a movie series, Oak Knoll students brought the animated story to life, working relentlessly each day leading up to opening night to perfect their songs and choreography. The choice of production attracted an eager crowd, as the plotline of Shrek is an appealing and fan-favorite to viewers. Although familiar, the cast did not fail in transforming the known movie into a lively musical filled with unique song and dance. The cast and crew did not disappoint in fulfilling the crowd’s expectations of viewing a humorous, yet brilliant musical!

The three performances of Shrek showcased the utter skill and expertise of the cast members, but the hidden labor of the volunteer students, parents, and teachers who make up the crew, appears in the set, props, lighting, and sound of the production. This year, the crew saw a diverse variety of volunteers, working behind the scenes in constructing the tangibles of the play, perfecting light and sound effects, and scurrying across the stage in the darkness, bringing set pieces on and off. Parents assisted the play effort greatly, sacrificing their Saturdays to return to Oak Knoll, building and painting the heavy set pieces. Expert artist, Mr. Cardell, reconnected with his set-painting endeavors, bringing the Shrek scenery to life, especially with his authentic “Beware Ogre” swamp sign, and brilliant stained glass window. Although appearing on stage for only a fraction of a scene, students worked closely with Mr. Cardell in carving and painting cardboard puppets, which explicitly displayed the absolute detail and effort inscribed throughout the musical.

Appearing just a mere three times in the Campion Center, the musical, the performers, and the volunteers involved do not receive nearly enough credit for their hard work and dedication. Months leading up to the brief showcase, cast and crew members spent hours perfecting their craft and constructing props and sets, ultimately creating an amazing production filled with excitement and astonishing skill.