On Wednesday, April 27th, students at Chocachatti Elementary School demonstrated their singing, dancing, and acting prowess with their performance of “Shrek, Jr. The Musical.” This time it was the third, fourth and fifth graders that made their teachers and parents proud with their talent. They had been practicing since October and their hard work paid off.
Under the direction of the drama, dance, and music teachers−Irmarie Kraft, Rhonda Bowers, and Nancy Kraus, respectively, the students captivated the audience with their vocals and dance numbers and delivery of clever dialogue. The imaginative costumes were the work of Mrs. Kraft’s mother, Ana Rodriguez.
Along with the stars of the show, Shrek and Fiona, a host of familiar fairy tale characters made an appearance in the play−the Big Bad Wolf, Peter Pan, the Ugly Duckling and many others. All the children did well with both the large and small parts they performed, some playing more than one role.
Kendra Ziccardy stole the show as Donkey with her spot-on delivery of the clever lines (102, to be precise) that she was given. Donkey’s smart-aleck remarks and broad facial expressions elicited many laughs from the audience.
“I liked his sassiness,” Kendra remarked.
Alyssa Skidmore’s portrayal of Pinocchio was hilarious also. She kept repeating “I am a real boy” in a high-pitched, whiny voice.
Damon Thomas played Shrek. The fourth-grader was one of four people who auditioned for the part. Damon had 126 lines to memorize, along with the words to several songs. What he liked best about his part was “being greedy and green.”
Three girls portrayed Fiona, Shrek’s love interest. Haley Sirvent played Fiona as a young girl; Charlotte Vallejo portrayed her as a teenager, and Allie Licht played the adult Fiona. Allie is in the fifth grade and has been in plays at Stage West, as well as Chocachatti.
“This is one of my favorite plays that I’ve been in,” Allie stated.
Fifth-grader, Hailey Gerhart who played Mama Bear commented, “The thing I liked best about the play was the costume and how pretty it was.”
For Isabella Turner, who portrayed Papa Bear, it was the personality of her character that she liked best.
“I liked the fact that Papa Bear was strong and brave,” she remarked.
Chloe Jones, who portrayed one of the three little pigs, remarked, “I liked that I get to oink and make funny sounds.”
Paxton Licht, who played another of the three little pigs, expressed his feelings about the overall experience when he stated, “I like the directors and the cast.”
Zoey Dono, a fourth-grader who played the part of a guard and a knight, especially liked the dancing.
As in many of the performances at Chocachatti, there was an overall theme to the play that was expressed towards the end of the show: “What makes us special, gives us power. What makes us special makes us strong.”
This play was the last performance of the school year. However, the “Specials” teachers are probably already planning next year’s performances−shows which the students and parents will be looking forward to.