'Shrek: The Musical' cast is working on choreography

By Jonathan King,
Published on Monday, September 15, 2014

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Sarah Hurley and Mark Eshenbaugh rehearsing their lines for

Jonathan King

Sarah Hurley and Mark Eshenbaugh rehearsing their lines for "Shrek: The Musical."


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Director Kevin Treu expects the cast to be off-book and have the entire play memorized by Sept. 23.

Jonathan King

Director Kevin Treu expects the cast to be off-book and have the entire play memorized by Sept. 23.

Enlarge photo

The rehearsal cast for

Jonathan King

The rehearsal cast for "Shrek: The Musical" are experimenting with their characters. Left to right: Landon Odom, Mark Eshenbaugh and Sarah Hurley. Brandon Alan Gaunt is on the bottom.


The Greer Children’s Theatre putting pieces together for “Shrek: The Musical,” learning songs, blocking and choreography.

“We started out heavy on weeknights with music, and blocking on weekends,” said director Kevin Treu. “And just recently, in September, we’ve started working on the choreography.”

That choreography, according to the script, includes at least one “insane tiny-leg dance” from the under-sized villain Lord Farquaad.

“Doing choreography on my knees and singing at the same time . . . that’s quite possibly the most challenging thing I’ve ever done,” said Brandon Alan Gaunt, who plays Farquaad.

Treu plans for the cast to be off-book, or to have everything memorized, by September 23. “That’s a really fun time when we get to put everything together.”

In the meantime, the rehearsal process allows the cast to experiment with their characters. Landon Odom, who plays Donkey, said, “They’re just like, ‘Do whatever you want,’ and I’m like, ‘What do I do with this?’ I just try a bunch of things, and it’s really funny.”

Gaunt said, “There’s no set way for Farquaad to act, per se, so I get to throw around different genres, from game show host to evil villain to feminine boy-band-loving man.”

Treu spent hours pulling together the right 64 actors for this show. “I feel for all the actors . . . and I want to give them all the part that they want. But there’s something in mathematics called the pigeonhole principle. If you have twenty pigeons and five holes, they can’t all have their own.”

In the end, though, he couldn’t have been happier. “I was on a high for days once we posted the cast list, because I knew how good it was.”

Sarah Hurley, who plays Princess Fiona, also loves the cast, especially the children. “They have been a joy to work with, and I love how excited they get,” she said. “They’re adorable.”

Mark Eshenbaugh, who plays Shrek, has a special reason to appreciate the casting. “My wife is music directing this show and all three of my kids are in it, so this is one of the first shows we’ve had an opportunity to all do together as a family.”

Eshenbaugh also said he’s looking forward to getting to know his fellow actors better. “I always enjoy the friendships that are forged through doing shows like this, the things that last long after the show is done and the lights have gone down.”

“Shrek: The Musical” will be performed at the J. Harley Bonds Center Oct.17-19 and 24-26. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees are 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, and $7 for children under 5.





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