Art & Life

Sewing the final stitches

“Shrek the Musical” is centered on the celebration of uniqueness, something that student performers say they hope to bring to life on stage.  The Kirkwood Community College fall musical, which has been under consideration for several years by the drama department, will be presented this November.  

There was a large number of students who signed up for auditions, with 55 students attending. Twenty-three actors and two children from the community were chosen. Despite the large cast, most of the cast members will still have multiple roles to play.  

The crew will utilize the fairytale elements of the source material from the original DreamWorks Animation movie to incorporate an imaginative, storybook feel for the presentation. The set design plans include large painted book pages in the background.  

Emily Ganfield, an adjunct faculty member and costume designer, said she will make about 75 different costume pieces and Kirkwood will rent some pieces. However, Ganfield said, “Sometimes it is easier to start over then to refit a costume. For Fionna I might spend 5-8 hours making a costume from scratch.” 

Ganfield also said she has the help of seven or eight students and that she takes all skill levels. She said, “Helping with costumes teaches students skills that they can use in life. My students will never have to ask someone to sew a button on their clothes or pay someone to hem their pants.”  

Ganfield added she researches the time period of each production so she can find fabric that would feel more authentic.  

This is the first time that the play’s music director, Allison Holmes-Bendixen, will be conducting a pit orchestra; something she said she is very excited to do. Emma Drtina is acting as the play’s director, while choreography is being led by Anna Slife. 

The stage manager is Indica Mutchler and Madison Corley and Jenna Schnellbacher are working as assistant stage managers.


All shows will be in Ballantyne Auditorium on the main campus. 

Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. 

Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. 

Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. 

Tickets are free for students, faculty and staff. 

Tickets should be reserved ahead of time at

Categories: Art & Life