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Interview: Quinn Forrest Masterson of SHREK at Artistry Theater

This production runs from July 15th - August 14th

Interview: Quinn Forrest Masterson of SHREK at Artistry Theater Based on the Oscar-winning, DreamWorks animated film, Shrek The Musical is big summer fun for the whole family! Artistry invites you on a hero's journey with everyone's favorite lovable green ogre! Shrek The Musical is the ultimate fairy tale mashup for the kid in all of us! We'll take you on a side-splitting, feel-good ride about loving ourselves, accepting others, and the importance of friendship along the way.

We chat with Quinn Forrest Masterson who plays Shrek in the Artistry's production of Shrek!

How does it feel to have live audiences and theatres back?

It truly feels like a fever dream. Having been on the audience and director side of the table a number of times the past year- I am simply elated to be back. There always was something special about seeing a live show prior to the pandemic, but the magic and reality of being back is even more after the "dark week" that felt like it would never end in 2020. I can't wait to welcome audiences to the Schneider Theater's swamp next week!

What inspired you to pursue performing?

I spent my childhood as an athlete and thought that plays and musicals were silly, and then during my sophomore year, I went to see my high school fall musical production of The Wizard of Oz and three of my close friends played Dorothy, Glinda, and the Wicked Witch. I ended up going to see every performance and realized that I was living vicariously through their experience both on stage and off (thanks Anna, Lindsay, and Amber!). I knew it was something that I had to try and somehow mustered enough courage to audition for the spring play and fell in love with the creative process, problem-solving, and collaboration that goes into bringing a story to life on stage. I then decided to attend the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse to earn my BA in Theatre Performance.

How does this role compare to other roles you've played?

I've played The Beast in Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame before, so I have a sort of understanding of what it's like to play someone that has been mocked and feared their entire life based on appearance or without actually knowing them. The parallels between The Beast, Quasi, Shrek, and Quinn are more than I'd like to admit... I'll save that for another day. ;)

What was your process for developing your character?

It has been a trial and error process. I have really enjoyed finding him throughout the process with the team. Bringing an iconic animated character to life has been a bigger challenge than I expected. I'm a pretty introverted and quiet person, so the challenge has been finding the range that Shrek has during the show during his higher stakes and larger-than-life moments. But throughout rehearsals, I think we've found a nice balance between the Shrek we all know and love from the animated movies with a twist of Artisty's take! I am very excited to get into costumes and makeup this week-I think this element will help us all take our characters to the next level!

Do you have a favorite song in the show?

"Who I'd Be"... Jeanine Tesori's orchestrations are big, bright, and truly beautiful.

Did you face any challenges with your character or the production?

I don't think there has been a rehearsal yet where I have had to stop to pinch myself and ask, "what is happening... how could I possibly be in this show??!" The entire cast is absolute fire and incredibly talented at their craft. This is my first professional show in the Twin Cities and a number of the folks in the cast are people that I've spent the last six years looking up to professionally and admiring their work on stages across the professional theatre scene since I moved to the area. Without a doubt, the biggest challenge has been, well, me... convincing myself that I belong on stage with the caliber of talent that is in this production.

How was working with the cast and the creative team?

So many beautiful layers to this question. Angie, Anita, and Joey have been an absolute dream and incredibly supportive every step of the way with insightful big-picture ideas down to the nitty-gritty details that will make this show ours. Making theatre is incredibly difficult, even more difficult nowadays, but with our stage management team (Ashley Raper and Jessica Goldade) they've made it easier and lead a positive rehearsal space to create in. As I said earlier, this cast is out of this world talented, kind, and passionate about telling this story and a joy to work with every day. And now that we've moved into the space, the entire production team (the designers, the backstage crew, the COVID safety officers) have done a stellar job to create a theatrical spectacle with so much heart! I can't wait for audiences to see this!

What do you hope the audience takes away from seeing this production?

My hope is that it challenges audience members (of all ages) to tear down walls that they have built up to see the unseen beauty in the world around them and that it also empowers them to celebrate and accept people who are different.

What are your favorite local spots?

The Onion Grille in downtown Hastings, MN (complete with a view of the beautiful Mississippi River). Ogres love onions... and their French Onion Soup is out of this world tasty!

Thank you Quinn for your time!

For more ticket and show information, please click the ticket link button below

Photo courtesy of the Artistry

From This Author - Jared Fessler

Jared [He/Him] is originally from Iowa and resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He grew up doing theatre and studied music, dance, and theatre with additional training in BFA musical theatre.

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