DANCING WITH THE (AWHS) STARS SHREK THE MUSICAL

Our AWHS Spring Show is about to take the stage. As is tradition, this show provides the opportunity for our student actors, singers and dancers to perform and delight audiences for two evenings. This year, SHREK THE MUSICAL is being readied by a cast of 42 and a tech crew of 20, with Director Mrs.De Rosa-Coakley, Technical Director Mr. Rick Martin and Lead Choreographer Mr Jared Lyons.

SHREK is a fairy tale “in which curses are reversed, monsters get the girls, donkeys and dragons find love, and princesses are found in all shapes and sizes. Grumpy, gruff, green ogre SHREK lives alone in his swamp… and is about to experience love”( Stagecraft). Important to this show is the choreography. Lucky for our Bishops, teacher Mr. Jared Lyons, ’13, has 20 years of dance experience in his tap shoes, hip hop sneakers, clogs and ballet slippers and was excited to be called upon to share his talents with the cast as Lead Choreographer. Jared saw it as a calling. A “calling to expose students to that same discipline that gave me so much. Even if students do not go on to continue learning theater and dance, they will at least have the beginning knowledge how a show is choreographed and can say they had fun doing it.”

Jared’s love of dance came at an early age. A school field trip to The Nutcracker was the catalyst. From that moment on, Jared knew he wanted to be on stage and be a performer. A graduate of Stonehill College, Jared danced there with the Stonehill Company and Dance Club. He has trained extensively in several dance genres and is grateful for the “discipline and courage” he has found in dance “to step out of my comfort zone and to always go after something I want even if it seems far fetched.” This certainly has been a plus for Jared as he works on SHREK with many students who would never have imagined themselves as dancers. This has been his biggest challenge and Jared shares “ the majority of the cast has no dance experience, so they have no prior knowledge of dance, the terminology or technique. All of those take years to learn. I have to start from the ground and build up, being sure to carefully develop the student’s techniques as well as performance quality.”

As the curtain is about to go up, Jared is more than satisfied with his student dancers as they “have worked extremely hard and have truly taken it upon themselves to learn difficult dances. I am very proud of the work that they have done and I want to continue working with them to develop their skills and to watch them grow and succeed in every aspect of their theater careers and in their lives as well.”

So to our entire cast, crew and Jared, metaphorically speaking, break a leg!!