PREVIEW: Shrek the Musical Begins Tonight – A behind the scenes look at the work it takes to put on the musical.


Image courtesy LHS Theatre Company

Nina Santiago-Garcia, Reporter

As theater season begins, Leominster High School Theatre Company has been preparing for their first musical of the 2022-2023 season, Shrek, the Musical.

From Left: Seniors Nathan Valeri and Christine Evans rehearse for Shrek (Nina Santiago-Garcia)
















What started as a joke back in 2019, came to be a real thing. Back in 2019, the current seniors – then freshmen of LHS, joked on how Shrek, the Musical would be fun to do. Now, here they are rehearsing for the upcoming nights.

“We started this freshman year and here we are now,” said LHS Senior Isabelle Lavoie.

The Devil’s Advocate had the opportunity to visit rehearsal before opening night. As the cast waits for rehearsal to start, they prepare lobby decorations and enjoy each other’s company.

Senior Isabelle Lavoie coloring a lobby decoration (Nina Santiago-Garcia)

















The crew, on the other hand, paints set pieces and props preparing for the big night.

Sophomore Renn Patel painting trees for the set (Nina Santiago-Garcia)

What are the cast and crew most excited about?

LHS Senior Isabella Bible, playing Princess Fiona, is most excited to do the show and the dance numbers. LHS Senior Nathan Valeri,  playing Shrek, is most excited about being “a little silly” as Shrek and interacting with the rest of the cast.

Christine “Chrissy” Evans, the LHS senior playing Donkey is excited to get back on stage. 

Kylie Perault, the LHS senior playing Fairy Godmother and Head of the Costume Team is most excited about seeing everyone in costume. “Once in costume,” she said, “the show starts coming together.”

Isabelle, playing the Shoemaker’s Elf, is most excited for opening night because that’s when people have the most energy.

Alyssa Moulton, an LHS junior who is a crew member, is excited to do quick changes on stage. Leah Levensailor, the LHS junior who is one of the stage managers, is most excited to see the final production of Shrek. Leah is very confident in the cast and crew.

Some pre-show rituals include telling jokes to lighten the mood, pacing backstage, singing in the “ensemble” room, drinking chamomile tea or water with honey, bringing lavender, warm-up techniques, and a good-luck ritual that stays behind the curtains.

Andrea Mastroianni, theater teacher of LHS and the show’s director,  said the musical is very fun, happy way  to bring joy back, and Shrek, the Musical is a fun family show that everyone should make plans to see.

Timothy Smith, the TV and Media teacher of LHS and the show’s technical director said the biggest thing is that all the technical aspects (the light changes, sounds, moving, etc.) of the musical are run by the students. “If I wasn’t here, the show would still go on,” Smith said.

Although it takes an average of 10-12 weeks to complete the preparations for a musical, preparations for Shrek have taken roughly 7 weeks. Making a prop can span from 1 hour to 1 week, it depends on what the prop is.   

LHS Sophomore Maureissa Mgeni painting a sun (Nina Santiago-Garcia)

  Oftentimes, it takes 4-6 weeks to complete the set and a couple weeks to complete the props needed, but according to Leah, pieces of the set were rented from a theatre company that previously did Shrek.

LHS Junior Stefani Galeano, Sophomore Chloe McFarlane, Sophomore Keirstyn “Kat” Braucher, and Senior Harry Magliozzi painting props and set pieces (Nina Santiago-Garcia)

LHS Junior Christian Wyman, Sophomore Scott Forteza, and  Freshman Abigail Byrom, painting set pieces. (Nina Santiago-Garcia)



Just like Willy Wonka in the previous school year, the cast and crew of Shrek, the Musical consists of students from Leominster High,  Sky View Middle School, and Samoset Middle School.

Rachel Twiss, the show’s Middle School Director, commented that Shrek is a great musical for all ages. It’s lots of fun and has great humor and great moments.

Ali Hall, choreographer, stated Shrek is a fun show with lots of high energy numbers.

Arthur Pierce, music and choir teacher of LHS and Music Director of Shrek, commented that the students have been working very hard in the short amount of time. The music is memorable, the show is hilarious, and his favorite part is when the audience walks out of the auditorium talking about their favorite parts of the show.

With Shrek being the “dream musical” of the current seniors of LHS, when asked what her “dream musical” for Junior Bruna De  Oliveira, who plays Dragon,  said The Prom.

Everyone and anyone is encouraged to attend  Shrek, the Musical this weekend. Tickets are available at the door and through

Dates include: Friday, November 18th, at 7pm, and Saturday, November 19th, at 2pm and 7pm.