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North Star Theater Company Presents SHREK THE MUSICAL

Opening July 22-24 at Sparta High School.

North Star Theater Company Presents SHREK THE MUSICAL

North Star Theater Company (NSTC), a premier community theater located in Sussex County, has taken the word 'community' to heart.

In the NSTC's latest production of "Shrek The Musical," the company has partnered with the Sparta Education Foundation. Directed and choreographed by Sparta resident, Kelly Dacus-Smith, eleven families are involved in the production, which is one-third of the performers and production team. Dacus-Smith and the production staff decided to create two casts, a teen cast and an adult cast, who will be performing at Sparta High School from July 22-24.

The adult cast of "Shrek The Musical" will perform on Friday, July 22, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, July 23, at 2 p.m. and Sunday, July 24, at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, the teen cast will perform on Saturday, July 23 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 24, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 for adult admission and $15 for students and seniors, 65 years and older. Reserved seating can be made by visiting

Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, "Shrek The Musical" is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure. "Shrek" brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage and proves there's more to the story than meets the ears.

Building relationships in the community is one of the goals for NSTC, and the partnership with the Sparta Education Foundation seems like a perfect fit. "The school is a central part of the community, and the foundation's mission complements the theater's in supporting the growth of students," remarked Patrick McQueeney, co-producer of NSTC's production of "Shrek The Musical" and venue coordinator of the theater's board.

During auditions, Dacus-Smith was pleasantly surprised with how many families came out, including her own family. "Being involved in a theater production can be such a rewarding experience," remarked Dacus-Smith. "You spend a lot of time at rehearsal and it is a great way for families to connect and share memories that will last a lifetime."

Family was one of the reasons why Andover resident, Hilary Beirne, auditioned for the summer musical. "I am having such a fun time being in 'Shrek The Musical' and spending time with my daughter, Cassia, who absolutely loves performing. I am also doing this for myself and getting back into performing again and building confidence. Everybody is so welcoming and talented," said Beirne, who plays a fairytale character Mama Bear in the adult cast. Her daughter, Cassia, will be playing young Fiona in the teen cast.

Other families who are involved in NSTC's production of "Shrek The Musical" include:

Andover residents: Box Office Manager Karl Halteman, his wife, Marketing Manager Jodi Halteman, and their daughter, Eliza Halteman (Dragon / Pig 2 - teen cast; Fairy Tale Creature / Knight - adult cast);

Franklin residents: Properties Assistant Lori Tomlin (Fairy Tale Creature/Duloc singer - adult cast) and her daughter, Skylar Tomlin (Witch /Queen Lillian / Three Blind Mice - teen cast; Fairy Tale Creature / Knight - adult cast);

Sparta residents:

• Director and Choreographer Kelly Dacus-Smith, her husband, Todd Smith (Shrek - adult cast), and daughters Sabrina Smith (Fiona- teen cast; Dancer - adult cast) and Miranda Smith (Pinocchio - teen cast; Dancer / Three Blind Mice - adult cast);

• Co-Producer Patrick McQueeney and his daughter, Molly McQueeney (Gingy/Sugar Plum Fairy - teen cast; Three Blind Mice - adult cast);

• Stage Manager Linda Kadar (Queen Lillian / Mad Hatter - adult cast) and her daughter, Julia Kadar (Donkey - teen cast, Knight / Guard - adult cast);

• Assistant Stage Manager and Make-up Kristine Simmons and her husband, Executive Director of NSTC and Co-Producer Nathan Simmons (Donkey - adult cast), and their children, Luke Simmons (Shrek - teen cast; Pig 3 /Guard- adult cast), Ella (teen Fiona / Fairy Godmother - adult cast; Humpty Dumpty / Three Blind Mice - teen cast);

Sussex residents: Sheena Covert (Peter Pan -both casts) and her daughters, Destiny Covert (Witch - adult cast; Mama Bear / Knight - teen cast) and Rylee Covert (Dancer - both casts);

Vernon residents:

• Costume Designer Jaime Brown and her daughter, Calleigh Brown (Fairy Tale Creature/ Dancer - teen cast);

• Sisters Emelia Smoldino (Fairy Tale Creature / Happy Villager - teen cast) and Sadie Smoldino (Fairy Tale Creature - both casts; Pig 3 / Guard - adult cast)

• Layton, NJ - Sisters Junior Assistant Stage Manager Gianna Barcza and Julianna Barcza (Duloc dancer - both casts)

Randolph residents: Russ Crespolini (Lord Farquaad - adult cast) and his daughter, Natalie Crespolini (young Fiona - teen cast; Elf - adult cast) and his nephew of Stockholm, Dominic Chiocchi (Lord Farquaad - teen cast; Pig 2 - adult cast)

The remaining cast members who are part of the greater North Star family, include:

• Sofia diPalma of Allamuchy (Puss in Boots / Happy Villager - both casts);

• Andover residents Christopher Motto (Pappa Bear / Guard- both casts) and Izzy Stevens (Ugly Duckling - both casts; Mama Ogre / 3 Blind Mice - teen cast);

• Blair Lanza of Glenwood (fairy Tale Creature / Knight - adult cast);

• Hamburg residents Chris Flatt (Thelonius / Wolf - both casts; Papa Ogre / Knight - teen cast); Costumes Coordinator Christa Piper; Kelcie Rivera (Dragon - adult cast); and Gabby Rosanelli (Dancer - both casts);

• Teagan Skretkowicz of Hardyston (Fairy Tale Creature / Duloc Dancer - both casts)

Kimberly Jackson of Lafayette (Fiona - adult cast);

• Properties Master Phil Cocilovo of Montague (King Harold - adult cast);

• Newton residents Music Director Dr. Deborah Gianuzzi and Felicia Artrip (Elf / Knight - adult cast);

• Ogdensburg residents Sadie Biondo (Dancer - both casts) and Maya McQueen (Fairy Tale Creature / Guard / Happy Villager - both casts);

• Dan Burg of Rahway (Pinocchio / Duloc greeter - adult cast; Pig 1 / Guard / Knight - teen cast);

• Stephen Burke of Secaucus (Papa Ogre / Pig 1 / Duloc Singer - adult cast);

• Sparta residents Max Cagno (Guard - both casts); Assistant Director AnMarie DeGiovanni; Declan Griffith (Young Shrek / Dwarf - both casts); Julianne Handzus (Guard/ Happy Villager - both casts / Knight - teen cast); Lighting Support Kaden Kambak; Set Construction John Kollar; Public Relations / Social Media Allison Ognibene; Technical Director Scott Rogoff; Properties Assistant Luke Scarpa; Sky Sobieski (Captain -both casts); Zephyrina Turtorro (Guard/ Happy Villager); Luis Torres (White Rabbit / Knight / Guard - both casts; King Harold - teen cast); Ashlee Vissers (Baby Bear - both casts); Myles Williams (Bishop / Guard - both casts);

• Sussex County residents Emily Brunner of (Dancer - both casts); Sound Assistant Steve Viegas; Set Construction Mike Devore;

• Lexi Rizzo of Wayne (Gingy / Sugar Plum Fairy /3 Blind Mice / Knight / Fiona understudy - adult cast);

• and Vernon residents Julia Chmielowiec (Pied Piper / Dancer - both casts); and Juliette Jalbert (teen Fiona - teen cast; Happy Villager - both casts); Blair Lanza (Fairy Tale Creature / Knight - adult cast); Julia Myers (Fairy Tale Creature / Dancer - both casts).

After one of the rehearsals, Russ Crespolini, who has show-stopping moments as Lord Farquaad, reached out to the entire cast and production team with a heartfelt message that best sums up what North Star Theater Company strives for. He wrote, "This has been such a wonderful experience for Natalie and I and I wanted to take a moment to thank you all. Thank you for accepting us. Thank you for inspiring us. Thank you for giving so much of yourselves to this show!"

Shrek The Musical is based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture and the book by William Steig. Book and Lyrics by David Lindsay -Abaire and Music by Jeanine Tesori. Originally produced on Broadway by DreamWorks Theatrical and Neal Street Productions. Original Production Directed by Jason Moore and Rob Ashford.

"Shrek The Musical" is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www,

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