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Student Production Offers Night with Shrek, Fiona and Donkey!

Artemis Else will paint his face and hands green when he suits up for a starring role in the Omaha Public Schools summer musical, “Shrek the Musical.” Else will play the ogre, Shrek.

“I wanted to be a part of Shrek because of my familiarity with the Broadway show and the movies,” said Else, a Northwest High senior.

Students from all over our district spent the last few weeks preparing for the upcoming performances of “Shrek the Musical.” The talented cast and crew includes students in grades six through 12.

“Working with other students in our district has been amazing,” Else added. “I've connected with old friends, made new ones and gotten to hear about theater experiences from schools other than my own.”
Central High sophomore Tessa Priesman will play the role of Princess Fiona. This is her second year being involved in the Omaha Public Schools summer musical.
“I just enjoy the community we are building with each other,” said Priesman. “I love how supportive everyone is of one another, and I feel like everyone feels comfortable in the space. We are all doing what we love.”

There are starring roles for students backstage, too. The show will feature many technical aspects, including sound effects, hanging set pieces that will fly around the stage, a dragon puppet, light designs and detailed paintings, all created by students.

Director Emily Mokrycki, a Burke High theatre teacher, hopes that this production will provide a meaningful message to both the audience and the students involved.
“I think this show allows so many individuals to shine with the abundance of characters,” said Mokrycki. “The powerful message is that our differences and uniqueness are our greatest strength. I think this is something our students really need to hear, understand and believe.”

Tony Schik, who teaches theatre at Westview High, is in his fourth year co-directing the summer musical. He believes the best part of the season is watching students collaborate. 

“One of the extraordinary things about the Omaha Public Schools summer musical is that it brings together a talented group of students and staff from around the city,” said Schik. “It truly creates a magical bond that goes beyond the final curtain call.”

Omaha Public Schools will present “Shrek the Musical” on June 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. and June 30 at 2 p.m. at the Burke High Auditorium. Tickets are free and can be reserved online.

June 2024

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