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Beaverton's Valley Catholic School presents 'Shrek: The Musical' beginning March 1.

COURTESY PHOTO: VALLEY CATHOLIC SCHOOL - Valley Catholic School presents its winter musical, 'Shrek: The Musical,' opening March 1 in Beaverton. "Shrek: The Musical" has many layers — just like an onion.

Peeling them back is Beaverton's Valley Catholic School, as they take on the Broadway version of the beloved DreamWorks Animation Studio's early-2000s hit.

The story is an unconventional fairy tale following a not-so-friendly green ogre, who finds his life turned upside down after a villain tells him to vacate his swamp.

While the show is whimsical with songs like "What's Up, Duloc?" and "I Think I Got You Beat," "Shrek" tackles topics near and dear to students, like self-acceptance and confidence, said Ginnie Sutfin, director and drama teacher at Valley Catholic.

"The production has a lot of commitment," Sutfin said. "It has been so inspiring to see the kids rise to this level. They work outside of rehearsal on choreography and their lines. They help each other. They are putting more time and effort into this than I have seen before, because the story speaks to them. This is a story about acceptance and loving you for who you are, and loving others."

More than 50 students from sixth to 12th grade make up the cast and crew.

"Drama is a non-cut program here at Valley Catholic," Sutfin said. Shows include "anyone who wants to be involved, whether that be acting or technical capacity."

Community, including parents, came together to make the big production possible, Sutfin said. The elaborate costume collection "Shrek" requires came from a previous production put on by Jesuit High School, which acquired it from another school before that, she said.

The idea to have "Shrek" come to Valley Catholic felt natural, Sutfin said.

"I had heard a few songs from it over the years, and I really liked it. It has a real contemporary sound," Sutfin said. "When we did 'The Pirates of Penzance' a while a back, many of the students made 'Shrek' references at rehearsal, and I guess it never left my mind since."

The best part of the show is watching the students' hard work pay off, she said.

"What makes this musical special is its heart," Sutfin said. "The fact that it is performed by students with some of the kindest and most generous hearts I've ever known makes this a very, very special production indeed."

The school's auditorium at 4275 S.W. 148th Ave. in Beaverton can seat about 350. "Shrek's" runtime is about two and a half hours, including intermission.

Showtimes run from March 1 to March 3 and March 8 to March 10, with Friday and Saturday shows at 7 p.m. and Sunday shows at 2 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online at ValleyCatholic.org. They will be available at "will call" on the day of the performance. Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for students and seniors and $3 for children under 5.



By Janae Easlon
Features Editor
Forest Grove News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune
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