In the animated version of "Shrek," the nasty little "villain," Lord Farquaad, is heads below everyone else. So when it was adapted as a Broadway musical, staff got creative to make the very tall actor Christopher Sieber very short. After first trying kneepads worn by umpires and catchers in the world of baseball, they got supremely technical, as reported in "Broadway Buzz":
"Eventually, a designer from England came up with what we call “the Rig,” which is basically a big ol’ Frankenstein shoe that I put my knee in. It’s filled with all of this rubber shock-absorber material, and it works. It works really well. The knee pads have been upgraded, too, and run from the bottom of my shin to the top of my quad. Now I can bounce around and actually run on my knees without worrying about being hobbled for the rest of my life. It’s actually getting comfortable."
Attached to the front of his real legs were puppet legs on a device that allowed him to move them while "walking" and kick them out during dance numbers.
Our Lord Farquaad, played by Senior Jared Wilde, followed tradition by performing on his knees. While his acting and singing skills and his characterization were Broadway-worthy, our budget allowed for umpire/catcher's gear, not designer rigs. The photos in the attached gallery reveal his true height, his knee pads, and the fact that he actually towers over mom Tina and dad Corin when standing.
If you’ve ever wanted to eat an ogre finger or “slime” covered cookie, now’s your chance! Members of the PHS Friends of Performing Arts — we usually call ourselves “Drama Mamas,” have been creating and organizing concessions for “Shrek, The Musical,” and they promise to be swamptastic!
Several parents started the Friends group in 2008 in response to the growing programs in theatre and vocal music. The purpose was to provide support for the daily needs of the programs as students spent many hours rehearsing, performing, and competing, and to connect the community to these great programs.
Our fundraising efforts include membership to PHS Friends, selling t-shirts, and selling concessions each spring at the all-school musical. Our first concession stand, held during the musical “Grease,” was dubbed “The Burger Palace” and featured Frenchie's French Cookies and Rydell H2O. Since that time, Friends have themed snacks to each show. Dipped pretzel sticks appeared with the production of “Footloose.” For the performance of “HONK,” they were called "Cat Tails."
And this year for “Shrek,” what else would you expect but ogre fingers?! We’ll also be selling Shrek-themed fruit chew snacks (We think we bought up every box between here and Wichita!), gum drop buttons, and “slime” covered cookies at every show.
We aim for low prices to make the treats affordable for children, so no items cost more than $1 and some cost only 25 or 50 cents. We also are offering a non-edible souvenir for this show: Ogre ears! The head-band style “ears” will cost $5. Tickets are $10, $8, and $5. Come join us in the swamp!
The show opens Wednesday and runs through Saturday. Tickets can be purchased at www.memorialauditorium.org or by calling 620-231-7827.
— Friends of PHS Performing Arts
Watch in this time-lapse video as senior Jack Warring, who plays the title character in "Shrek, The Musical," is transformed by John Holland, owner of Stage, Makeup & Hair in Kansas City, in a two-hour process involving prosthetics. John also designed the makeup for many of the other 100-some characters in this show, which, in a word, is huge.
John has had the theatre bug since childhood and went on to become an actor, singer, and conductor. But in recent years, he was drawn to go behind the scenes with his own company to style productions in the Kansas City Metro Area. Read more about his credits and talents here.
The subject he's styling in this video also wants to go into the performing arts as a career. Jack grew up around theatre, with mom Denise Williams serving as PHS's technical director for many years and his step-dad, Dan Williams, designing sets for productions big and small. Jack was selected to perform in the Kansas All-State Thespian show "James and the Giant Peach" this year at State, and will advance to the International Thespian Conference in June. He also was one of the lead roles in PHS's show, "Band Geeks," chosen for State, and performed the two roles back-to-back. He came home from conference with a $1,000 college scholarship and had 21-college call-backs. Jack is a triple threat: He acts, sings, and plays musical instruments.
Come see the finished makeup design product in "Shrek," which runs Feb. 17-20 at Memorial Auditorium & Convention Center in Downtown Pittsburg, 503 N. Pine. Performances will be 7 p.m. each day, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. Visit the show page on this website to learn more details, including the plot summary, a list of cast, crew, and pit band members, and more.
Purchase tickets today! We open in five days!
Yesterday, Kansas City makeup artist John Holland of Stage, Face & Hair transformed senior Jack Warring into Shrek for the first time. In a two-hour process, Holland used prosthetics and paint to create the ogre we all know and love.
We can hardly wait to share the time-lapse video that Pittsburg School District public relations director Zach Fletcher created of the transformation. Be watching for it tomorrow!
Want to learn more about John Holland's credits and company? Visit his website: www.stagefaceandhair.com
It's up! Students and staff from PHS and Memorial Auditorium combined efforts to get the massive set pieces from "Shrek, The Musical," in place this week. The tallest are 16 feet tall and combined, it all weighs about 1,000 pounds. It's the second time they've lifted it all — the first was when they unloaded it all from the flatbed trucks provided by Watco just before Christmas. So yeah, theatre is athletic.
The set includes four massive trees and a castle — all created as moving walls using professionally printed vinyl, plywood and welded steel reinforcements. It's the biggest show PHS has produced. Want to see the front of it? You have five chances Feb. 17-20. Main floor tickets are selling fast. Get yours today at www.memorialauditorium.org or by calling the box office during business hours at 620-231-7827!
— Andra Stefanoni, PHS Drama Mama
(PHS Class of 1988 and Pittsburg Community Theatre Board Member)