Children meet Heartland Festival's Shrek and Fiona

July 16, 2014

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Shrek
Fiona

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — More than 200 area children had the opportunity to meet Shrek and Princess Fiona, the main characters from “Shrek the Musical,” the final production in the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Heartland Festival, during a library tour held in June and July.

The tour was organized by Carolyn Schuler, director of the Platteville Public Library, and was held at libraries in Platteville, Hazel Green, Livingston, Dodgeville, Boscobel, Fennimore, Lancaster and Darlington.

At each location, children ages 5-11 had the opportunity to hear about the musical, read a book, play “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” and make a mask of one of the characters in the musical. They also received an autographed photo of Shrek and Princess Fiona.

“The collaboration between the Heartland Festival and the libraries offers a unique opportunity for children to experience how the written word can come alive through the arts,” said Schuler.

“Working with the Platteville Public Library to broaden awareness of university arts activities through libraries in the five-county area strengthens the cooperation and collaboration among the university, Platteville and surrounding communities,” said Dr. David Schuler, associate professor of theatre at UW-Platteville and director of “Shrek the Musical.” “The Heartland Festival’s continued involvement and cooperation with local organizations and their communities is a primary focus of its mission.”

John Dobbratz plays Shrek in the musical. Originally from Mayville, Wis., Dobbratz currently works as an actor in New York City, N.Y. He was a member of the Heartland company in 2011 and is a former member of Kids from Wisconsin.

Allison Scheer plays Princess Fiona in the musical. Scheer grew up in Geneseo, Ill., and was a member of the Heartland company in 2010.

“Shrek the Musical” opened on July 6 and will run through Sunday, July 20. All performances will be held in the Richard and Helen Brodbeck Concert Hall at the UW-Platteville Center for the Arts.

In addition to Dobbratz and Scheer, the Heartland Festival's core acting company playing featured roles in the production includes Ellis Dawson as Donkey, Brian Charles as Lord Farquaad, Caleb Baze as Pinocchio, and Vasi Fafalios as Sugar Plum Fairy, Gingy and the Dragon.

Members of the community playing featured roles include Susan Cramer, Susan Savage Day, Lizzy Haag, Bill Haskins, Marcy Russell, Carolyn Schuler, Brent Schwert, Sheri Schwert, Tyler Tollefson and UW-Platteville students Sunshine Balch, Arianna Day, Andrew Jonas, Rachael Lester and Emma Wilson. Members of the youth ensemble are Quinn Collins, Ellie Hemming, Kale Johnson, Dylan Prestegard, Shaena Prestegard, Isabelle Sander, Miranda Sexton and Kaelyn Weigel.

The production is choreographed by Connie Saloutos Furlan, with music direction by Lizzie Hansen, scenic design by Jeffrey Strange, costume design by Sarah Strange and lighting design by Ben Golden.

“We have assembled a wonderful production team and cast who have vividly brought this charming, modern fairytale to life,” said Dr. David Schuler. “Full of memorable songs, energetic dancing, and fabulous costumes and scenery, ‘Shrek the Musical’ is part romance, part twisted fairy tale, and sure to be a fun-filled evening for the entire family.”

Tickets for “Shrek the Musical” are $20 for adults, $16 for current UW-Platteville students and $9 for those under 18.

Contact: Dr. David Schuler, Department of Performing and Visual Arts, (608) 342-1198, schulerd@uwplatt.edu

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu

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