Berkeley Playhouse Presents SHREK: THE MUSICAL, 6/19-8/3

Berkeley Playhouse will close their sixth season with the popular, Tony Award-winning SHREK THE MUSICAL, directed and choreographed by Matthew McCoy. Running from June 19 to August 3, 2014 at the Julia Morgan Theater, 2640 College Ave. in Berkeley. Tickets ($17-$60) are now available at or by phone at (510) 845-8542 x351.

SHREK THE MUSICAL tells the story of everyone's favorite ogre who embarks on a life-changing adventure. Joined by a wise-cracking donkey, this unlikely hero fights a fearsome dragon, rescues a feisty princess, and learns that friendship and love aren't only found in fairy tales.

Inspired by, and playing with, the concept of a storybook coming to life, Berkeley Playhouse's production of SHREK THE MUSICAL will incorporate a pop-up book style and imagery led by Set Designer, Robert Broadfoot. Musical Director Rachel Robinson; Resident Costume Designer, Wendy Ross Kaufman; Lighting Designer Mark Hueske; Sound Design Mike Sweeney; and Props Designer by Megan Lush.

THE CAST: The cast features Tony Panighetti (La Cage aux Folles with Cabrillo Stage, Sugar with 42nd Street Moon) as Shrek, Chloe Condon (Logainne Schwartzandgrunenniere in the recently closed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Berkeley Playhouse, Snoopy!!! with 42nd Street Moon) as Princess Fiona, Brian Dauglash (Cats with Woodminster Summer Musicals, Bat Boy with Tri-Valley Repertory Theater) as Donkey, Clay David (Giovanni Is Here with Ross Valley Players, Killing Dante at Novato Theatre Company) as Lord Farquaad. The large ensemble cast of fairy tale creatures will include a double-cast youth ensemble of 20 students, trained through Berkeley Playhouse's educational programs.

Daren A.C. Carollo, Berkeley Playhouse's new Producing Director, says "Berkeley Playhouse's production of SHREK THE MUSICAL, under the direction of Matthew McCoy, will have you laughing out loud! These zany characters (an ogre, a princess, a donkey, the Three Little Pigs, just to name a few) know how to win you over. Unlike other productions of SHREK THE MUSICAL, ours will feature brand new imaginative staging and choreography. Our seamless production will highlight some of the Bay Area's finest actors, designers, and musicians. Incorporating the musical's themes of self-acceptance, personal empowerment, social justice, and anti-bullying we couldn't be happier than to partner with Kidpower International-a wonderful organization with the same positive message."

ABOUT KIDPOWER INTERNATIONAL: Berkeley Playhouse is proud to partner with Kidpower International for the run of SHREK THE MUSICAL. Kidpower is a global, non-profit leader in teaching positive, practical personal safety skills to protect people of all ages and abilities from bullying, abuse, and other violence-and to prepare them to develop positive relationships that enrich their lives. Kidpower makes it FUN (not scary) to learn to be safe! Across the world, Kidpower has served more than 2.5 million children, teens, and adults, including those with special needs, through a free online library, affordable publications, and K-12 curriculum, in-person workshops, and professional consulting.

ABOUT BERKELEY PLAYHOUSE: Berkeley Playhouse was founded in 2007 by professional theatre actor, director, and teacher for over 25 years Elizabeth McKoy. Along with Producing Director Daren A.C. Carollo and Managing Director Lauren Hewitt, Artistic Director McKoy has and continues to develop Berkeley Playhouse into a professional musical theatre providing children and families a unique and sophisticated experience. Berkeley Playhouse offers a range of skill and performance classes for ages 3-17 through several after-school and school break educational programs. In 2009, Berkeley Playhouse made the historic Julia Morgan Theater its permanent home.

Previews: Thursday, June 19 at 7pm and Saturday, June 21 at 1pm

Opens: Saturday, June 21 at 6pm

Press: Saturday, June 21 at 6pm; Sunday, June 22 at 12pm and 5pm

Closes: Sunday, August 3 at 5pm

All performances: Saturdays at 1pm and 6pm; Sundays at 12pm and 5pm. Wednesday (7/30) and Thursday (7/31) at 7pm at Berkeley Playhouse @ The Julia Morgan Theater. 2640 College Ave. Berkeley, CA 94704.

TICKETS: For tickets ($17-$60) or more information, the public may call (510) 845-8542 x351 or visit Group rates available for 10 or more people.

Photo Credit: Ken Levin

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