Students set to bring Shrek to life

Raissa Tetanish
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‘To see it come together will be really exciting’

TRURO – Students at Cobequid Educational Centre will soon take to the stage for their musical.

This year, the students are producing Shrek, based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film released in 2001.

“When we read the script of Shrek, not only did we really like the characters, but there’s an underlying message of acceptance and inclusion,” said Heather Nolan, who is co-directing the production with Sheena Henderson. “We really liked that message and the story is great for all ages, there’s young children and adult humour in it.”

Auditions for the cast were held in October, with all the roles filled and rehearsals starting by the end of November.

Alex Purdy plays Shrek, with Abigail Carey performing as Fiona. The role of Donkey is filled by Arjen Blaauwendraat, and Ben Arnfast was cast as Lord Farquaad.

“It really is a great musical for all ages,” said Nolan. “The music is very interesting and creative, and there are hints to other musicals in it as well. The people who wrote it were very creative and threaded those hints to others throughout.”

While traditionally the evening performances have started at 7:30 p.m., a change has been made in the timing this year.

“Because this performance is for children as well, we went ahead and made it earlier,” said Nolan, adding the evening performances begin at 7 p.m. “We wanted to keep in mind the timeframe for kids.”

Having worked on the production for months, Nolan said it will be “amazing” to see it all come together. It opens on April 5 and runs for several productions until April 12.

“I know bits and pieces of it on their own from seeing various rehearsals, but to see it come together will be really exciting,” she said. “And you can feel everyone getting excited.”

Along with cast members, pit band and choir, she said students are also involved in the construction of the set.

“It’s so wonderful to see the kids putting in so much effort. They are so excited,” said Nolan. “To see them so excited, to me that means so much more.”

She said one of the school’s goals is to have as many students as possible in activities such as the musical.

“It’s such a great experience for them, so the more we can involve the students, the better.”

The musical opens at 7 p.m. on April 5, with additional performances on April 6 at 2 p.m., and April 8, 9, 11, 12 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $12 for students and seniors, and $14 for adults. They’re available at MacQuarries Pharmasave and online at

Twitter: @TDNRaissa



TRURO - The CEC musical has been a tradition since the school opened in 1970-71. Here is a list of the productions:

1971 - West Side Story

1972 - Man of La Mancha

1973 - Anne of Green Gables

1974 - Oliver

1975 - Guys and Dolls

1976 - Paint Your Wagon

1977 - Fiddler on the Roof

1978 - Strike!

1979 - L'il Abner

1980 - Prophet of a New World

1981 - Annie Get Your Gun

1982 - Bye Bye Birdie

1983 - The Wizard of Oz

1984 - No musical

1985 - Tom Sawyer

1986 - Oliver!

1987 - Damn Yankees

1988 - Bells are Ringing

1989 - Oklahoma!

1990 - Anything Goes

1991 - Brigadoon

1992 - West Side Story

1993 - Hello Dolly!

1994 - Mame

1995 - Fiddler on the Roof

1996 - Carousel

1997 - Grease

1998 - Guys and Dolls

1999 - Chess

2000 - Annie

2001 - Jesus Christ Superstar

2002 - My Fair Lady

2003 - Footloose

2004 - Copacabana

2005 - A Chorus Line

2006 - Cats

2007 - High School Musical

2008 - Beauty and the Beast

2009 - The Wedding Singer

2010 - The Wizard of Oz

2011 - Disco Inferno

2012 - Into the Woods

2013 - Grease


Organizations: Yankees

Geographic location: La Mancha, Green Gables, Oklahoma

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