Directing for the Playhouse is Joel D. Scribner in a debut turn. Joel’s theatrical resume includes directing, producing, acting, and playwriting for over 30 years. He has directed many top shows for the Fort Wayne Civic Theater and other venues. Playing major roles nationally, including Tevye at the CTC’s recent “Fiddler on the Roof,” where he won his third “Miss Annie” award, Joel is the founder and artistic director of Yellow Dragon Theater locally, a company with a full schedule on its lineup. Dr. Jennifer Arbogast Wilson will choreograph the musical, and she will hit the trifecta with the local troupe this summer as she has starred as Anna in “The King and I”; directed two shows, “Peter Pan,” and “Willy Wonka”; and now is choreographing “Shrek!” She is a professor in the music department and professional actor training program at Chattanooga State. Returning as musical director, Michael Huseman brings his years of experience as a Grammy winning composer and lyricist. On the conductor’s stand for his second summer, Nick Hartline, also of the Chattanooga State faculty, has assembled top local musicians for the Playhouse Orchestra.
The cast of “Shrek the Musical” is also stellar, with Greg Glover as Shrek. A familiar face, he starred as Willy Wonka in last summer’s hit production. Paul Corcoran will play the young Shrek. Fiona will be played by Finlay Burnette as young Fiona, Molly Baggett as teen Fiona, and Kara Funke as the adult Fiona, a character who harbors a secret. Donkey will be played by Austin Massey, and the villain Lord Farquad will be played by Richard Nicols. Gingy will be Lorien Maddux, with Pinocchio played by Maddy Meier. Papa Ogre will be Mark Oglesby, and Samantha Teeter plays Mama Ogre/Wicked Witch. King Harold will be Dennis Parker, Queen Lillian will be Jennifer Baggett and Dragon will be Rebecca Gilmore. In addition to these, there are a host of supporting players, familiar faces you’ll recognize.
Tickets ($5 for children 12 and under and $15 for those 13 and above – cash or checks only, please) are available at the door on the evenings of performances with the box office opening at 6 p.m. Traditionally, people come with their lawn chairs and wait for the box office to open. Then they buy their tickets and place their chairs. Some folks bring picnics, and that’s fine, but alcohol is not allowed. The Playhouse amphitheater is located on the corner of Rolling Way and James Boulevard, and parking is around the Town Hall Complex. Concessions and porta potties are available on the grounds.
“Shrek the Musical” was originally produced on Broadway by DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Productions and directed by Jason Moore and Rob Ashford.
For more information about “Shrek the Musical,” go to smph.org, find the Signal Mountain Playhouse page on Facebook, email email@example.com, or call (423) 763-7219.
by Anne Rittenberry