Alden-Conger to perform ‘Shrek The Musical’

Published 5:38 am Wednesday, March 16, 2022

If you were a child in the 2000s — or had children during that time period — there’s a good chance you’ve seen “Shrek,” the story about an ogre whose solitude was broken by an invasion of fairy tale characters who were banished to his forest by Lord Farquaad. 

And if you haven’t seen it, now’s your chance to see a different version of it — “Shrek The Musical.” Originally performed in 2008 and written by David Lindsay-Abaire, the play will come to the Alden-Conger Public School stage under the direction of Ada Theusch.

In choosing this particular musical, she said she thought the familiarity 

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with the movie and the ogre who opens his heart to a princess could pull at the heartstrings of audience members while also providing laughter, puns and action.

“‘Shrek The Musical’ is a lively look at life and its challenges,” Theusch said in an email. “Wishing we are something we are not does not pay off. Be yourself and everyone else can just deal with it.” 

Speaking of dealing with life, scheduling was among the difficulties she faced.

“So many of our actors participate in multiple activities, and so we attempt to schedule rehearsal time around sports, skating, dance, ninja practice and church choirs,” she said.

But on the other side of the spectrum, all the well-rounded students, she said, brought a litany of skills to the stage. 

Senior Brennan Nielsen plays the titular character Shrek. Playing a lead role doesn’t seem to bother him.

“This is not my first time participating in theater,”  Nielsen said. “I have been involved in the Alden-Conger plays since I had come back to Alden from a previous school in eighth grade.”

Besides “Shrek,” he has performed in works such as “Seussical,” “Big Bad,” “Dirty Laundry,” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

Doing this, he said, seemed natural for how he and his friends fit their personalities to the different characters.

And while this will be his last play, he said the experiences have helped with his determination and called his acting experience “wonderfully weird.”

Emelia Jacobs, a junior at Alden-Conger, plays the fairy godmother. She admitted staying on beat with dance moves was challenging, which is why she practiced so much.

Throughout her work, she has also learned the significance of every role, whether on stage, providing tech support or doing set work.

This is her 12th play.

“I love doing plays,” she said. “They are so fun to do. I’ve really enjoyed all the friends I’ve made and the fun experiences I’ve been a part of throughout the years.”

Jackson Frank is a 10th grader and will play a member of a mob of villagers, as well as Thelonious. Despite only having a small role, he was excited for it.

“It’s ‘Shrek,’” he said. “How could anyone not want to be in this play?”

Through the experience, Frank said he learned just how many good singers and confident actors Alden-Conger had.

Besides serving as director, Theusch is the vocal music director for grades K-12, and has been with the district for 16 years. This is her 13th year directing the Alden-Conger musical.

“My love of theater started in middle school and grew in high school where I played Nellie in ‘South Pacific,’ Kim in ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ and Lady Larkin in ‘Once Upon a Mattress,’” Theusch said.   

“Shrek the Musical” will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at Alden-Conger school, at 215 N. Broadway Ave. in Alden. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students and senior citizens, with doors opening 30 minutes before curtain time. There are no pre-sales.


Cast list

Shrek: Brennan Nielsen 

Princess Fiona (Ogress Fiona): Paige Diekmann

Donkey: Trinity Johnson

Lord Farquaad: Noah Johnson

Dragon: Kate Greenfield

Gingy: Maggie Evans

Pinocchio: Carrie Warmka

Big Bad Wolf: Sami Armstrong

Three Pigs: Becca Ahnemann, Danika Diekmann, Danni Betts

White Rabbit: Morgan Loock

Fairy Godmother: Emmie Jacobs

Peter Pan: Olivia Dulitz

Wicked Witch: Zoe Larson

Sugar Plum Fairy: Charlotte Sutter

Ugly Duckling: Shannon Petersen

Three Bears: Bella Guenther, Jade Huper; Paisley Merritt

Mad Hatter: Jayci Sheetz

Humpty Dumpty: Jackson Jacobs

Elf: Aubrie Jacobs

Dwarf: Theodore Thompson

Puss in Boots: Maggie Steele

Moon: Paizley Lowe

Sunflowers & Butterflies: Makalynn Weigel, Bella Guenther, Karley Guenther, Markey Samp, Emmie Jacobs, Veronica Nielsen, Dylan Petersen, Porter Anderson, Shannon Petersen, Aubree Roell, Paisley Merritt, Macy Harty

Cow: Audrina Matson

Dish/Spoon: Scarlett Samp

Siren Guy: Teagan Lutteke

Antelope: Lexi Guenther

Deer: Markey Samp

Mama Ogre: Hailey Bjornstad

Papa Ogre: Kaiden Jenson

Young Shrek: Porter Anderson

King Harold: Teagan Lutteke

Queen Lillian: Veronika Nielsen

Young Fiona: Aubree Roell

Teen Fiona: Carlie Loock

Angry Mob/Happy People: Markey Samp, Jackson Frank, Lexi Guenther, Kayla Thunstedt, Chaya Sorensen, Lindsay Thunstedt, Karley Guenther

 Duloc Performers: Luke Gooden, Emily Hintz, Nathan Johnson, Porter Anderson, Andrew Petersen, Maci Harty, Adrien Easley, Owen Gooden, Paizley Lowe, Gabby Thomas, Dylan Peterson, Porter Anderson, Emily Bronson, Ava  Cummings, Cortney Schmidt, Emilee Weigel

Greeter: Luke Gooden

Captain Guard: Karley Guenther 

Guards: Kayla Thunstedt, Lindsay Thunstedt, Chaya Sorensen, Hailey Bjornstad, Kaiden Jenson, Teagan Lutteke, Veronika Nielsen,  Carlie Loock, Lexi Guenther, Markey Samp

Thelonius: Jackson Frank

Knights: Nathan Johnson, Porter Anderson, Andrew Petersen, Dylan Peterson, Adrien Easley

Pied Piper: Owen Gooden

Rats: Paizley Lowe, Emily Bronson,  Ava Cummings, Gabby Thomas, Cortney Schmidt, Emilee Weigel, Emily Hintz, Maci Harty

3 Blind Mice: Kayla Thunstedt, Lindsay Thunstedt, Chaya Sorenson

Bluebird: Haddie Colby

Bishop: Lexi Guenther

Stage & Tech Crew: Cael Boldt, Isabel Sutter, Abbi Renaux, Riley Draayer, Abby Wedin, Lorna Beaver, Dakota Betts, Ava Diekmann, Kyra Bjornstad