Tonight, the Maricopa High School Theatre Company kicks off an ogre-filled weekend with its performance of “Shrek the Musical.”  

Everyone is invited into Shrek’s swamp for four shows – March 30 and March 31 at 7 p.m., and two shows on April 1, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. 

General admission tickets are $12. Student and staff tickets are $10. A VIP experience also is available for an extra $3 that includes priority seating, concessions in the actors’ lounge and first dibs at a cast photo.  

The musical is based on the 2001 DreamWorks Animation film and book by Wiliam Staig, in which a green, grumpy ogre was living a peaceful life in his swamp, scaring away villagers who ventured too close. 

Until one day, the evil Lord Farquaad banishes all the fairy-tale creatures from his kingdom and sends them to Shrek’s swamp. Shrek teams with a curious crew of creatures – including a talking donkey, blind mice, fairies, Pinocchio and a fire-breathing dragon in a valiant attempt to get his swamp back. 

Fairytale creatures are sent to Shrek’s Swamp [Brian Petersheim Jr.]
Among the comical cast of 31 students is Cayden Atkinson as Shrek, the towering ogre with a Scottish accent and fearsome appearance.  

Gabriel Ybarra is playing Donkey, the anthropomorphic sidekick that provides comic relief during the trek. 

And McKenzie Mack will be Fiona, the beautiful princess that has been placed under a conspicuous curse. 

The three leads are seniors with MHS Theatre Co. for four years and are graduating this spring. 

Theatre Director Christa Diaz said they are the perfect fits for this performance.   

“I try to choose my musicals based on my kiddos,” Diaz said. “So, once I got to know them, I thought, this is the one.”  

MHS Theatre Co. held auditions in early December and began rehearsals at the beginning of this year.  

For the last three months, the cast has been running lines, setting up props and creating the set for countless hours after school.

Aside from managing the actors, Diaz is responsible for collaborating with the technical director and stage craft coordinator. 

“I have to mentally design the show,” Diaz said. “I tell the technical director this is what I want scenically, lighting and design-wise. I have to come up with how to get all of our props.” 

Kevin Piquette, the technical director, brings the summation of comedy, romance and action to life. His students help build the sets, coordinate microphones and control the lighting and audio.  

The Theatre Co. is also partnering with the culinary department to cater Shrek-theme goodies for the guests: piggies in a blanket, traditional ogre campfire snacks, purified swamp water, gingerbread men and blooming onions. 

View just a couple of photos from the musical, taken by InMaricopa’s Brian Petersheim Jr.: