Nearly 60 adults and children showed up at Pagosa Springs High School last Friday to audition for “Shrek the Musical,” to be performed by Curtains Up Pagosa June 25, 26, 27 and July 2,3, and 5. “I wish we could have cast them all,” said Dale Johnson, production director, “but we came up with a great cast!”
CUP veteran actor, Jeremy Medina, will take the lead as Shrek, bringing his comedic timing and wonderful tenor voice to the role. Jeremy has been a part of numerous CUP productions, but may best be remembered for his part as the mother in the PSHS 2014 production of “Hairspray.”
The part of Princess Fiona will be shared by Annie O’Donnell as Young Fiona, Taylor Jones as Teen Fiona, and Johanna Laverty as Adult Fiona. Students who work with CUP tend to grow up around the theater, maturing as actors and singers as they go. Annie O’Donnell remarked, “Last year I was a bunny, and this year I am Young Fiona!”
High school sophomore, Taylor Jones. became a part of the CUP theater program seven years ago in their production of “Oliver.” Since that time, she has honed her vocal skills through private lessons and through school music programs, while performing in both CUP and high school musicals.
Johannah Laverty, a graduating senior at PSHS, is no stranger to the stage either. She began playing in CUP productions when she was seven years old and Pagosa Springs residents have enjoyed watching her grow and develop her enormous talents in acting, dance, and voice. Laverty has been accepted into the prestigious music programs at Berkley and Oklahoma City University.
The part of Donkey will be played by Eli Velasquez, a Daniels Scholar who has recently been accepted into the music program at University of Colorado Denver. Eli is another very talented performer who has spent the past year working to refine his vocal talents in order to apply to UCD. His hard work has paid off.
Gus Palma, who will enter his senior year in the fall, will play the role of Lord Farquaad, the very short and comical ruler who is looking for a bride. Gus recently made his mark in the starring role of Aladdin in the musical by the same name performed at PSHS in March.
“We have a great supporting cast as well,” says Johnson. “Every single player will bring their own comedic spin and talents to their role. We have just begun our rehearsals, but we can already tell that this is going to be a great show!”
“We are so proud of these young people,” she continued. “They have learned that talent is not enough to get ahead in the world of the performing arts. It takes hard work and persistence to make your mark in this competitive field. They continue to show us they are willing to give whatever it takes to make each show their best.”