Dozens audition for ‘Shrek’

Published 9:52 pm Monday, September 26, 2016

The Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts sounded like a conglomeration of musical theater on Saturday.

Notes and words from musicals such as “The Wiz,” “Hamilton” and “The Little Mermaid” floated through a rehearsal room door and down a third-floor hall as people of all ages auditioned for the April performances of “Shrek the Musical.”

Outside in the hallway, some of those yet to audition waited in chairs. Some sang their audition song softly at the end of the hall. Still others were walking around the parking lot outside, belting out musical theater songs.

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“I just want to get in,” said 11-year-old Alisa Chandler, who received a request for a callback after she sang “Home” from “The Wiz.”

Alisa has been singing “pretty much since I could talk,” she said, but she did not start voice lessons until about three years ago. She played Dorothy in “The Wiz” at her school play at Nansemond Parkway Elementary School last year. She now attends John Yeates Middle School.

Joseph DeFriese turns on the charm during his audition. He also got a callback.

Joseph DeFriese turns on the charm during his audition. He also got a callback.

Saturday’s auditions took place with Renee Perry Mitchell, owner of RPM Dance on Bridge Road. RPM Dance and the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts are partners on the show, which will be staged April 1-2 and April 8-9.

This is not the first successful partnership between the two entities. In 2014, they produced “42nd Street” together at the center.

While Alisa said she wasn’t hoping for a certain part — just any part at all — it was different for some of her fellow auditioners.

Joseph DeFriese, a Smithfield resident, said he was hoping to play Pinocchio but wouldn’t be picky. For his audition, he sang a song from “Hamilton,” a musical about the life of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

If he gets a role in “Shrek,” it won’t be his first. He has appeared in other shows, including “Aristocats.”

Joseph also got a request for a callback.

One of the older auditioners on Saturday — despite being only in her late 20s — was Kenna Cribb, who teaches at Stonebridge School and lives in Western Branch.

She was planning to sing “Beyond My Wildest Dreams” from “The Little Mermaid” for her audition.

“I’m thrilled that they’re doing this show,” she said. “It’s good to see RPM and the Suffolk Center doing this.”