Lufkin High School students will be performing in “Shrek the Musical” for the community starting at 7 tonight.

“After seeing ‘Shrek the Musical’ so many times, I fell in love with it,” theatre arts director William Odom said. “I love the story — learning about who you are and that it’s OK to be different.”

More than 50 LHS students are involved in this production, and most play at least four different characters, Odom said.

“It shows you a wide array of talents you didn’t know you had,” senior Lena Tate said.

“You have to learn how to do quick changes,” sophomore Madeline McCollum said.

Senior Nick Hargrove said this is the first time many of the students have played nonhuman characters, and learning to adopt characteristics of fairytale creatures was fun.

“You have to really be more over the top than you would for other shows,” Nick said. “The voices are big part of it and the physicality of it.”

“You have to definitely separate each character from one another,” Lena said.

Lena plays Dragon, a head Dulach, a guard, one of the three blind mice and more. Nick plays the Big Bad Wolf, Thelonius, a villager and a Dulach dancer. Madeline plays the Ugly Duckling, Mama Ogre and a Duloch person.

Senior Tolu O’jori said playing a fantastical character is very freeing.

“I’m basically playing a cartoon character, so everything is a lot more exaggerated,” he said. “It’s a lot more fun and exciting to do that.”

“It’s nice to not be so serious during a show,” Madeline said.

This show is a lot more fun than some of the others they have produced, Nick said. Odom said he wants to encourage younger audience members to attend. Adult tickets are $10, but children under 10 will pay $5.

“This is probably the biggest show you’ll see in East Texas compared to any other theater production,” Nick said. “It’s an exciting show, and it’s for all ages — kids can find it funny, and you’re 90-year-old grandma can think it’s hilarious.”

“It’s going to be very well done,” Lena said. “I’m ready to see how the kids react to it.”

The students will also be performing at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday in the Tom Jack Lucas Auditorium at the high school.

Grace Juarez’s email address is grace.juarez@lufkindailynews.com.

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