Maple Grove’s Home Base Theatre presents ‘Shrek The Musical’

A large puppet of the dragon from “Shrek The Musical” takes a crew of five people to operate. The dragon takes up much of the stage at Maple Grove Senior High School.

A large puppet of the dragon from “Shrek The Musical” takes a crew of five people to operate. The dragon takes up much of the stage at Maple Grove Senior High School.

Show’s 1st off-Broadway production comes to Maple Grove 

In a faraway kingdom, an ogre shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a bad guy with a short temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits and that’s “Shrek The Musical.”

“Shrek The Musical’s” Donkey, played by Kevin Brown, and Shrek, played by Trevor Bunce, are all dressed up during a recent rehearsal. Home Base Theatre, a group of MGSH theatre alumni, won the rights to the show’s first off-Broadway production of the show. Performances run July 25 through Aug. 3 at Maple Grove Senior High School.

“Shrek The Musical’s” Donkey, played by Kevin Brown, and Shrek, played by Trevor Bunce, are all dressed up during a recent rehearsal. Home Base Theatre, a group of MGSH theatre alumni, won the rights to the show’s first off-Broadway production of the show. Performances run July 25 through Aug. 3 at Maple Grove Senior High School.

Home Base Theatre, a group of Maple Grove Senior High alumni and current students of the theatre department, is putting this production of “Shrek” on to the only stage in Minnesota for the first time since it was performed on Broadway.

John Neumann, one of the owners and founders of Home Base Theatre, said, “DreamWorks released the rights to the show. Kara and I put in application to hopefully someday perform the show. We were tentative at first of getting the rights, but we unexpectedly got the rights to the first off-Broadway production of the show in entire state of Minnesota.” The other owner and found of the group is Kara Schwartz.

He added they got the rights for the production over the Children’s Theatre, who will get to perform it next spring.

The Fairy Godmother, played by Kara Schwartz, from “Shrek The Musical” is ready to go for the upcoming performances.

The Fairy Godmother, played by Kara Schwartz, from “Shrek The Musical” is ready to go for the upcoming performances.

Proceeds from the production of “Shrek The Musical” will go to pay for license fees, artistic people from the production, set design and the rest will go back to the MGSH Theatre Boosters Program.

Neumann said the story of “Shrek The Musical” follows the same plot line of the first story.

Something people might not expect is a huge dragon puppet that takes five people to operate. Neumann said, “The dragon fills the stage when its on it.”

The dragon puppet was created by Chris Lutter of Puppet Farm Arts. The puppet will stand more than 11 feet tall on its hind legs. The dragon was created to look as much like the original film character as possible.

Home Base Theatre also worked again with Escalate Dance Studio to get dancers for the show, Neumann added.

The dragon in the "Shrek The Musical" production looks like the dragon from the film. (Photo courtesy of Kristin Jones, Any Angle Photography)

The dragon in the “Shrek The Musical” production looks like the dragon from the film. (Photo courtesy of Kristin Jones, Any Angle Photography)

This Home Base Theatre’s third year of productions. The past two years the group’s productions have been at Yellow Tree Theatre in Osseo.

“This production of ‘Shrek The Musical’ was a big undertaking for us, but we have so much excitement for it,” Neumann said. “The size of the show is big, but it doesn’t matter to us.”

He said Home Base Theatre’s last two shows had a cast and crew of about 12 to 14 people. “Shrek The Musical” will have 45 people in the cast, crew and musicians.

The show is for all ages, kids to adults. Neumann said, “The show is really fun for the whole family. There is humor for the adults and magic for the kids in the show that will be really exciting. We pulled out all the stops.”

Performances run July 25 to 27 and Aug. 1 to 3, at 7 p.m. as well as July 28, at 6 p.m. and a matinee Aug. 3, at 2 p.m. All performances will be on the stage at Maple Grove Senior High School, 9800 Fernbrook Lane N. The run time of each performance is just over 2 hours with a 15-minute intermission.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for students and $8 for children under 8 years old. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the website homebasetheatre.com. Tickets are also available the door and hour before show time.

Home Base Theatre is a troupe of alumni performers from Maple Grove Senior High School that aims to engage the Maple Grove community by offering current and former students the opportunity to participate in professional theatrical productions. In turn, Home Base Theatre provides developmental resources for future high school productions and financial scholarships for students from the Maple Grove Senior High Theatre and Music Department.

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