The Minerva Theater Company Opening Season | Culture & Leisure

There aren’t many musicals that feature an ogre and a donkey as protagonists, but “Shrek The Musical” isn’t your typical musical. Bringing one of Disney’s most beloved characters to life, the production is a spinoff of the popular film franchise based on William Steig’s 1990 picture book “Shrek!” Ridgway’s Minerva Theater Company will bring all the characters to life this weekend as it opens its season Thursday night at 7 p.m. at the Ouray County 4H Event Center. The Friday and Saturday night shows will also take place at 7 p.m., while Sunday will take place at 3 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students, and are available online at minervawest.org. Tickets (cash or check only) will also be available at the door 30 minutes before the show on the day of the performance.

Brenda Ratcliff, chair of the organization’s board of directors, said everything has been going well so far, including Wednesday’s final dress rehearsal. The cast includes comedians of all ages, which is part of Minerva’s “Little to Big” production efforts.

“A lot of family groups love moms and their kids,” Ratcliff said. “You know, it’s a Broadway-style musical, and it even ends with a song that everyone in the audience will know, which is the Monkees song ‘I’m a Believer.’ It’s a show great fun, and we have the kids front and center.”

Members of the local community involved on stage and behind the scenes are Chris

Andrews, Alice Billings, James Bingham, Linda Browning, Nick Coman, Annabel Clarke, Anlee Collier, James Collier, Mae Collier, Roran Collier, Spring D’Angelo, Mark Daniels, Teya Dow, Dina Gaspari, Meghan Gaspari, Sam Grothaus, Olivia Heyward, Ryder Hines, Ninah Hunter, Emma Kalff, Nate Kissingford, Wolfe Karsh, Lauren Mahlin, Kathleen O’Mara, Kate Rolston, Levin Smith, Susannah Smith, Aidan Sterling, Dory Wick, Nate Wick, Tera Wick, Evan Young, Liam Young and Ratcliff.

I was trying to do the program last night, and there’s at least 20 others backstage, helping build sets and stuff. So it’s really a community event,” Ratcliff said.

The husband and wife duo of James and Mae Collier play Shrek and Fiona, while their son Roran takes on the role of Pinocchio and their daughter Anlee becomes captain of the guards. Mark Daniels is Donkey and Spring D’Angelo is Lord Maximus Farquaad.

Ratcliff said D’Angelo is one of the younger players, but “she’s amazing”.

Most of those involved with Minerva worked together as part of the Sherbino Theater Company, including artistic director Kathleen O’Mara.

“Our mission at Minerva is to provide equitable performing arts opportunities to everyone in our community, while inspiring creativity, community and a sense of belonging,” she said. “It’s exciting to introduce ‘Shrek’ as our first show because it embodies that mission by including all ages with all levels of acting ability.”

While Minerva is a relatively new group, Ratcliff explained that there’s a lot going on this year, including a youth camp from July 11-28. The band will perform “Aladdin Jr.” July 29-31. The shows will take place at a new outdoor venue at Adobe Inn in Ridgway. Registration and ticket sales will soon be available online. For information on registering for camp now, email minervawestco@gmail.com.

Currently, the Minerva Mad Lib fundraiser is scheduled for September 10, followed by a production of “All My Sons” from October 27-30. A holiday bazaar is planned for December 10 and 11. There are also plans to host a comedy camp and work with local students throughout the year, although no date has yet been set. Ratcliff said more dates and productions could also be added to the schedule throughout the year.

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