Above /  With a cast of more than 90 local community members, North Central College Summer Musical Theatre program will stage ‘Shrek the Musical’ with four evening and two matinee performances at Pfeiffer Hall. (North Central College Photo)

Editor’s Note, July 14, 2018 / The opening night of “Shrek” provided a colorful, fun evening of great storytelling with music and dancing accompanied by a live orchestra. Listening to the joyful giggles of youngsters in the audience as they recognized the humor in the clever lines was an added attraction.

This fast-moving 2-act musical theater experience filled with surprises, wit and wisdom is enjoyable family entertainment that runs this weekend and next. With a 15-minute intermission, the performance by an energetic cast lasts about three hours.

We had never seen “Shrek the Musical” nor the movie. My husband said now he knows even more words for the crossword puzzles he works that often reference “Shrek.”


Original Online Post, July 12, 2018 / Everyone’s favorite ogre visits Naperville with “Shrek the Musical” taking the stage, featuring community actors as part of North Central College’s Summer Musical Theatre program.

The show is directed by Susan J. Craig-Olsen, former instructor of theatre at North Central and current teacher at the School of Performing Arts in Naperville. She has directed 15 shows for the Summer Musical Theatre program.

“This story of the fairy tale gone awry is a universal theme,” said Craig-Olsen. “Whether it is in one’s quest for love or for purpose, the path is rarely what we expect or hope for.”

7:30PM July 13, 14, 20 & 21 / 2PM July 15 & 22

Six performances will be staged at 7:30PM. July 13, 14, 20 and 21; and at 2PM July 15 and 22 in North Central’s Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $12 for students and seniors; call the North Central College Box Office at 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit northcentralcollege.edu/showtix to purchase.

A little about ‘Shrek the Musical’…

First performed in 2008, “Shrek the Musical” is based on the 2001 DreamWorks film “Shrek,” with music by Jeanine Tesori and book and lyrics by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David LindsayAbaire.

This not-so-traditional fairy tale features a green ogre, a wisecracking donkey and a princess who is not all she seems to be. Familiar characters like Pinocchio, Peter Pan, the three little pigs and more find themselves banished from the Kingdom of Duloc by Lord Farquaad and land right at the reclusive Shrek’s doorstep.

In exchange for ownership of his swamp, Farquaad orders Shrek to rescue the princess Fiona, who is naturally trapped in a tower waiting for a knight to save her.

“Shrek has accepted his role in the story, but soon discovers a piece of him never stopped dreaming of more,” said Craig-Olsen. “Likewise, Princess Fiona dreams of a ‘perfect’ love story, but to her surprise, discovers love in her imperfect story.”

The musical features dozens of singers, dancers and actors from the Naperville community, as well as a number of North Central students.

“Our productions always include community members from all ages and stages in life. Some of our actors will make their theatrical debut this summer, and some have been part of our casts for years,” said Craig-Olsen.

For a full cast list, visit the North Central website.

Thanks for supporting the arts at North Central College

Pfeiffer Hall is located at 310 E. Benton Avenue on the campus of North Central College.

North Central College offers majors in theatre, musical theatre, theatrical design and technology, and a minor in dance. Students of all majors can participate in musical and nonmusical performances,  actor showcases and one-act plays and performances in the College’s four theatre venues. Full-time professors and active professionals who are artist-teachers serve as faculty.

These upcoming events are among many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public.

For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit northcentralcollege.edu/performance or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).

Story and cast photo submitted by Kelly Murphy, Assistant Director of Communication and Public Relations, North Central College.