It’s filled with song and fairy tale characters and this fall, it’s coming to Revelstoke. Flying Arrow Productions, Revelstoke’s professional not-for-profit theatre company, will be producing a local performance of the musical theatre show Shrek.
The piece will be a community affair, with people of all ages involved in all aspects.
“The process is a big part of this project in terms of collaborating with the community and making decisions together,” says Anita Hallewas, the company’s Managing Director.
Hallewas anticipates the costs of costumes and sets to run several thousand, as well as the licensing costs of the popular Broadway musical. Most of the cost will be covered through various grants, though local businesses that wish to be sponsors are more than welcome. The number of participants involved in a production of this size can reach nearly 200, and Hallewas notes there is something for everyone who wants to be involved, whether it’s being on stage, being a musician, set builder, or crew.
“The great thing about theatre is it offers a sense of family,” she says. “Where everyone can come and be involved.”
The project’s first collaborative decision, choosing the musical, happened at an open Flying Arrow Productions meeting where around 40 people showed up. Previously shortlisted options were Mamma Mia, Mark Poppins, and Shrek. Discussions over the pros and cons commenced, and the overwhelming majority voted for Shrek.
“It’s a great musical,” says Hallewas. “For people who haven’t seen it – it’s very different than the animated version. You can watch Broadway version on netflix.”
The production boasts loads of parts for young and old, which, notes Hallewas, is an important aspect of the production. “It allows for a fully expandable cast so we can include as big a cast as we want,” she says. “I thought Shrek might not be popular with adults, but they loved it. The play is fun and lively and fresh with songs that aren’t old fashioned.”
For Hallewas, the best part about Shrek is the message it sends; one of friendship and embracing your own uniqueness.
Auditions won’t be help until the fall of 2019, for the next several months will be about behind the scenes production work. “Gillian Hewitt is working on costume design. That needs to start right now because if we have a cast of 100 we need costumes for 100,” says Hallewas
The production work is open for community involvement. Hallewas encourages people to contact her through the Flying Arrow email, firstname.lastname@example.org if they are interested in being involved. “Even if it is just to sew one costume,” she says.
The last musical to be produced in town was Chicago in 2009, put on by the Revelstoke Theatre Company. People, Hallewas notes, are excited to have another one.
Anyone interested in learning more can visit https://www.flyingarrowproductions.ca/