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CHS production of 'Shrek' is back on for late April, early May

  • Brenda Coop, left, with actors Melody Colonel and Blake Zappa, are all eager to get back to rehearsing for "Shrek The Musical."

    Brenda Coop, left, with actors Melody Colonel and Blake Zappa, are all eager to get back to rehearsing for "Shrek The Musical."
    Jim Beers photo

By Jim Beers
Contributing writer
updated: 2/12/2021 6:03 PM

The curtain will finally open on the Chester High School production of "Shrek, The Musical" on April 29, the much-delayed show that was dealt a death blow in 2020 by COVID-19.

The play was just days away from opening last spring, when all school activities were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Attempts to reschedule it in the summer were unsuccessful, as the pandemic worsened.

Now, "Shrek" is back. Show dates are April 29-May 2 and May 7-9.

CHS Theatre Director Brenda Coop has been given the green light to proceed with the production later this spring as long as the region stays at its current level of improvement in coronavirus numbers.

"We really feel bad that last year's seniors had to miss out," Coop said. "We held on as long as we possibly could to hopes that we would get to have the musical."

The Chester Unit District 139 administration has given graduates the opportunity to come back and perform in "Shrek" if they want to. Coop said many of them are at college or holding jobs, and may not be able to return, "but we certainly hope that as many as possible will come back to finish what we started last year!"

Coop said the tickets that were sold for the 2020 shows will be honored this coming spring. Patrons who bought tickets for a Friday performance, however, will be able to exchange them for a different day, if they need to.

"We will try to accommodate everyone's wishes as far their choice of days and times," she added.

Coop will hold auditions for vacant roles from 4 to 9 p.m. Feb. 24 in the CHS band room. All roles that need to be filled due to seniors or other cast members who choose not to return will be available for audition.

"We hope that as many Class of 2020 seniors as possible will return, but we realize that many will not be able to," she said. "We will also be facing competition from athletes who will be trying to work lost seasons into their schedules."

Rehearsals will begin in March and by April 29 "Shrek" will be ready to take the stage.

Melody Colonel and Blake Zappa, CHS seniors, are pleased that they will be finally be able to finish what they started last year as lead actors for "Shrek." Colonel plays the lead female role of Fiona and Zappa has the lead male role of Shrek.

Colonel said she was not optimistic for "Shrek"'s chances at the beginning of the school year.

"So much of our senior year has been canceled already as well as the last months of our junior year," she said. "I was hoping that I would not have to come back from college next year to finish 'Shrek.'"

Zappa said he's a bit nervous right now about the show going forward, and hopes a lot of students will come out to audition on Feb. 24.

"I am excited and ready to take the stage!" he added.

Coop said they are still working out the logistics of ticket sales.

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