Lights, Camera, Ogre! Pawcatuck Middle Schools Performs Shrek The Musical Jr.

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Kaela Ferguson

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The cast of the Pawcatuck Middle School play take a bow at the end of their performance.

The cast of the Pawcatuck Middle School play take a bow at the end of their performance.

photo by Kaela Ferguson

photo by Kaela Ferguson

The cast of the Pawcatuck Middle School play take a bow at the end of their performance.

Each year, Pawcatuck Middle School holds a drama production directed by Mr. Robin Aubin. This year, on March 25th and 26th, the school presented Shrek The Musical, based off an the animated movie Shrek, an oscar-winning DreamWorks film.

For the past five years, Aubin has been teaching chorus and producing plays at Pawcatuck Middle School such as Willy Wonka, Jr, The Wizard of Oz, Guys & Dolls, Jr, Aladdin Jr. Having been in Guys & Dolls and directing it two times previously, Aubin says it’s his favorite play.

“The hardest part about putting things like this together is practicing the entire time away from the high school stage and then you only have one week to really put it together, and you hope that your young actors can do that. And this year they did a great job transitioning to the high school,” Aubin explains.

Sophia Bell, an 8th grader at PMS, who loves to have fun on stage acting with all of her friends, was cast in her largest role as Princess Fiona. Participating in recent plays, Bell was in Guys & Dolls and Aladdin Jr. as well.

“I was a little worried because I did have stage fright, and I play basketball, too, and I didn’t know if I would be able to keep both of them up,” says Bell. “I had my lines but then I just had to act like Fiona. I was acting like myself saying what Fiona would,” Bell says with a big smile, admitting it was hard getting into character.

Madelyn Stepski, an enthusiastic 7th grader at PMS cast as Donkey, gushes over how she felt when she received the role: “I was over the moon, so happy, because as soon as I heard it was Shrek, I was like ‘I wanna be Donkey’ because it’s the comedic part. I was really happy.”

“Donkey has some really long lines, so I would stumble on them because they’re really long and hard to remember,” says Stepski. She plans to continue to participate in drama productions next year and in high school.

Previously cast as Aladdin in Aladdin Jr, Erich Phelps, also an 8th grader at PMS, was cast as Shrek and Papa Ogre. Confused on how he would play the father of Shrek along with playing Shrek, Phelps explains the hardest part of his roles: “After eye rolling every scene there’s not much more you can do, so I just had to try to be mad most of the time, basically.” After a moment, he adds, “Dancing with a pillow in my shirt, that was hard too.”

Phelps, who will continue his drama career next year as he enters high school, explains, “I think the end is the best because, all parts are loved no matter what, but it’s fun when you walk out and everyone cheers and claps for you and it’s really loud, so you feel happy at the end.”

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