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Unleashing Shrek's Magic in Squamish: Inspirational musical set to delight all ages

Head to the Eagle Eye Theatre this weekend to see 75 young performers take the stage.

"Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek." 

Seventy-five performers with Squamish's Act Alive Academy are set to take the stage to bring Shrek The Musical Jr. to life at the Eagle Eye Theatre on June 23 and 24. 

Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film and beloved Broadway musical, this adaptation follows the lovable ogre Shrek who leads a band of entertaining misfits on an adventure to rescue Princess Fiona.

The local youth, who range in age from three to 15, have been working on this school-year-ending performance since September, according to Jessica Kelly, Act Alive's founder and artistic director.

"It's been a ton of fun. The kids were all super excited about the show itself, because there are so many funny characters," she said. "We're really, really proud of this show."

Kelly said the show is "inspirational," and its message timely. 

"It has a really, really nice message of, what makes us special makes us strong; that our uniqueness is our superpower. And we shouldn't hide these things that make us different. We shouldn't try to mask these differences that we have — but embrace them. That is our gift that we can offer to the world and to our communities.”

Performing not just for kids

It has been a busy and productive year for the Academy. 

Recently, Act Alive hosted a community performance fundraiser, That's Showbiz Kid- A Night of Musical Theatre Comedy, which featured 16 local performers taking to the stage at One and Half Avenue.

The sold-out show before an audience of about 100 raised over $1,000 for Act Alive's scholarship fund, which creates opportunities for low-income families to access arts programs.

"The cast was composed of local business people, authors, professors, artists, IT professionals, and so much more," Kelly said. "Together, we have created an incredibly safe and supportive community for those with a longing to connect, express themselves and heal through the performing arts."

Kelly said the Academy's next fall iteration of its adult ‘Troupe’ musical theatre class is already filling up.

"It's really amazing to see how many people there are that have a hunger for this — kids and adults," Kelly said, adding that arts and culture seem to be shining at the moment in Squamish, with folks drawn to various programs. 

"It just really feels like this train that's picking up speed for community performance and musical theatre in Squamish."

As for the youth Shrek performance, this is the last hurrah before summer camps start up, Kelly said. 

"We're just so excited for audiences to see what they've worked on. And we hope that they can come out and check out the show."

The Saturday matinee will include the Academy's 'minis,' performers aged three to five, and will end with the school's awards presentation.

Find tickets on Eventbrite and on Act Alive's website


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