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CHS production of 'Shrek' moved to spring 2021

By Jim Beers
Contributing writer
updated: 7/8/2020 5:41 PM

The CHS Theater Department has tried its best to get the student musical "Shrek" performed this summer, but that has proved impossible.

Instead, "Shrek" will become the 2020-21 musical and be on stage March 18-21, 2021.

Chester High School Principal Missy Meyer said they tried.

"We tried our best to reschedule 'Shrek' for the end of the school year but we were still in Phase III and it was impossible," she said. "We then thought we might be able to get it in July 16-19, but that will not be possible because only groups of 50 people are allowed to congregate in Phase IV.

"It is going to be very hectic starting the 2020-2021 school year and we very well may still be in Phase IV, so it has been decided to postpone the musical until March of next year."

CHS Theater Director Brenda Coop said everyone is disappointed, and feels especially bad for the graduating seniors who worked so hard to prepare for the show.

"We are understandably very disappointed that this has happened, but the safety of our cast, crew, staff and audience comes first," Coop said.

Her seniors, she said, might never even get to see the show.

"They have all been very understanding, however."

Prior to being postponed in March, the show was almost stage-ready. The set was nearly finished, costumes were just about ready, the cast and crew were about to put the whole show on stage and ticket sales were brisk.

Coop had distributed most of the cast and crew T-shirts and the concession stand folks had begun to prepare. Opening night was just weeks away when the COVID-19 shutdown forced schools to shut down.

Along with the cancellation of in-school classes, all spring sports, awards nights, honors nights and other traditional rites of spring such as prom, were canceled.

Coop said the "Shrek" set will be able to stay on the stage of Juergens Gym.

Coop said most of her underclassmen cast has agreed to stay with the show for next spring. Where a few cast members won't be available, they will hold open auditions.

The graduated seniors, however, are a different story.

Coop said the District 139 administrators and school board members will meet soon to determine if members of the Class of 2020 will be allowed to return to the show.

"Once that is decided, we will know if we have to recast their roles."

"Shrek will be performed March 18-21. The shows will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and end with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Tickets that were purchased for the 2020 show will be honored next spring for the same days/nights as planned for this spring. If ticketholders need to change dates, the theater will be cooperative, Coop said.

Campers who were to be involved in the 2020 "Kids Camp" will be invited to return next spring, too, and will perform to the Saturday night audience prior to the show.