We love community theatre

Published 4:22 pm Saturday, February 25, 2017

The community-theatre musical is coming back to Suffolk, and area theatre fans — not to mention fans of popular animated features — are justifiably excited about the development.

After what surely seems like far too long to those who love a good community-produced performance, the Suffolk Center for the Arts is preparing this spring to produce the musical “Shrek.”

Most folks will recognize the name of the production from the blockbuster movie from which it was adapted. That film featured a green ogre and his irritating and occasionally endearing donkey friend, who fight a dragon and rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona, who is cursed by turning into an ogre every evening at sunset.

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It’s not hard to see that the theme here is finding a way to be comfortable with oneself, both the inside and the outside.

That theme is what attracted Renee Perry Mitchell, an accomplished dancer and owner of dance studio RPM Dance, to this particular musical. “I tend to be drawn to shows based on the theme of the show,” she said last week. “It’s all about getting to know the real person as opposed to the outside cover.”

The show will feature a cast of 33, and the three lead characters will be played by locals. Suffolk resident Timothy Wright, a student at Tidewater Community College, will play Shrek. Nansemond-Suffolk Academy sophomore Ryan Horton will play Fiona, and Old Dominion University junior Justin Jones will play Donkey.

With this cast performing this production under the direction of Mitchell, we have high expectations for Shrek.

Some of the most highly anticipated things to take place at the Suffolk Center in recent years have been its local productions of fan favorites. Shrek is sure to be on the short list of most-popular performances there.

The show will take place on April 1-2 and 8-9 at 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays. Visit www.suffolkcenter.org for tickets or more information.