Young thespians are ready to romp with ‘Shrek, The Musical Jr.’

The ensemble cast of 32 students, ages 8 to 14, has been working on the show since mid-September.

On Nov. 18 and 19, Vashon Center for the Arts’ (VCA) Kay White Hall stage will transform into a fairy-tale land with swamps, dragons, princesses, evil Lords, and the whole cast of characters of “Shrek: The Musical Jr.”

This harrowing tale of love, friendship, and learning to appreciate the sometimes weird things about ourselves is sure to entertain and make islanders of all ages believe in happy endings, after all.

“Shrek” tells the story of the grumpy ogre Shrek, played by Alex Casey, who is begrudgingly pushed out of his comfortable swamp by an unwanted company of characters including Pinocchio, The Gingerbread Man, and the Three Little Pigs, who are seeking refuge from cruel Lord Farquaad (River Corriston-Nasife).

In order to restore his swamp to its ideal population of one, Shrek must travel out into the world and rescue Princess Fiona (Gloria Erickson) from a fire-breathing dragon (Rubi Johnson) with the help of his right-hand Donkey (Micah Lawrence).

Along the way, Shrek discovers the importance of friendship, love, and acceptance not only of others but of himself.

The ensemble cast of 32 students, ages 8 to 14, has been working on the show since mid-September — meeting and rehearsing up to three times a week in preparation to open the show and share its adventures, rescues and songs.

“Shrek: the Musical Jr.” is a shortened version of a Broadway musical, which was based on the 2001 DreamWorks Animation blockbuster film, “Shrek.” The stage musical premiered at the 5th Avenue Theatre in 2008 and then went to take New York by storm.

This production, a partnership between VCA’s Musical Theatre program and Drama Dock, is being directed by Lisa Peretti, with Marita Ericksen as music director. Joy Ghigleri is the director and choreographer for the ensemble class, and Elise Erickson holds multiple roles as the assistant director, choreographer for leads, stage manager and costumer. The percussionist is Lillith Provo.

Tickets are on sale now at