As opening night draws near for the 2022 Glenbrook Musical Shrek The Musical, South and North students work to perfect each and every scene in the wacky, iconic show. Rehearsing daily after school, the schools collaborate to make sure the show will be spectacular when the curtain rises on April 28 in North’s Sheely Center for Performing Arts, senior Alicia Penepacker said.
Penepacker, who portrays Princess Fiona, expressed her love for the lighthearted dynamic that Shrek rehearsals entail. Penepacker’s goal for this production is to make sure the cast makes meaningful connections with each other and the faculty involved because it is her last show as a South student.
“I’m super close with the teachers, the music director, and the director himself,” Penepacker said. “All of them are really sweet and really approachable.”
Despite her initial skepticism about Shrek being her final production in the Glenbrooks, Penepacker now welcomes the humorous musical as her last hurrah.
“I honestly like [Shrek] a lot,” Penepacker said. “The music is great, the script is funny, and I am happy doing any musical as long as I get to perform with my friends.”
Senior Alex Adams, student producer of Shrek, is present at every rehearsal to make sure cast members are on time and to communicate with the directors, helping wherever she can. She appreciates the opportunity to facilitate North and South students coming together to make a show that can be enjoyed by the entire Glenbrook community.
“[The Glenbrook Musical] is the one thing we all get to collaborate on,” Adams said. “[That collaboration] just makes it that much more special.”
Junior Kelly Hood, who portrays the menacing Dragon, believes working with [North] is a fun change of scenery. Hood appreciates the encouraging atmosphere of rehearsals, which usually features plenty of applause for her co-stars.
“The people [from North] are really nice,” Hood said. “Theater people [are] not going to judge [you]. It is very welcoming.”
Hood said she is excited to perform in her first Glenbrook Musical, especially as a lead role. Hood expressed that the cast is very accepting and inclusive, and she is excited to see those themes reflected in their performances.
“I’m really excited to see it all come together,” Hood said. “The show is going to be very extravagant.”
Sophomore Joshua Zingerman, who plays the vertically challenged antagonist Lord Farquaad, said that the directors of Shrek are very important. Zingerman enjoys working with director Tim Broeker, North English and Theater Teacher, and applauds his ability to know when direct instruction is needed or when to let the cast have control.
“[Directors] really control the whole flow of the show, so they’re really the pinnacle of everyone’s talent,” Zingerman said.
Directing students he had previously seen perform in South’s fall play, Shakespeare in Love, was a fun change, Broeker admitted. He has enjoyed watching both school’s students come together and become friends.
“I love that [South and North] can celebrate togetherness and be united in the arts as opposed to being considered rivals,” Broeker said.
Broeker explained that Shrek The Musical is a massive production with a larger cast than he has ever worked with before. Although it has required more time and planning than he is accustomed to, it has been a fun ride and he is looking forward to seeing it all come together.
“[Shrek the Musical is] a big, fun and flashy show that features many individuals and has a fun upbeat message,” Broeker said. “It is just the type of thing we need to return to in a more normal Glenbrook Musical experience after the past few years that we’ve all experienced.”
Zingerman praised the tremendous collaborative effort undertaken by so many students, from set creation to the fine details that go into costume production. He admires the theatrical community as a whole for being so positive and supportive of everyone.
“Personally, as an actor, I feel so lucky to share a stage with not only so many talented people, but also the culmination of the hard work of so many people,” Zingerman said.
Tickets for each of the four performances of Shrek The Musical, happening from April 28-30, can be purchased via ShowTix4U.com. Adams encourages the entire Glenbrook community to attend a performance, as it reflects the dedication and enthusiasm of everyone involved.
“Everyone is so excited and rambunctious,” Adams said. “I can not wait to see [Shrek] on stage.”