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Corner Canyon Theater Captures Shakespeare Title, to Perform ‘Shrek’

Nov 06, 2015 08:58AM ● Published by Julie Slama

By Julie Slama

Draper - Before Corner Canyon theater students could take to their school auditorium stage to present the musical, “Shrek” this November, they already have defended their No. 1 title at the Utah Shakespeare Competition.

Members of Corner Canyons High’s Shakespearean team won first place in sweepstakes for the third year in a row. In addition, Abby Maxwell won first place in the monologue contest, Drew Kindig placed first in tech portfolios and the 30-member ensemble team placed second with its performance of the scene of Imogen’s Dream from “Cymbeline.”

“We were thrilled and excited,” Corner Canyon theater teacher Phaidra Atkinson said.

The 39th annual Shakespeare Competition, hosted by the Utah Shakespeare Festival and Southern Utah University, held Oct. 1-3, allowed high school students from around the nation a chance to present material from Shakespearean literature in various artistic forms and be judged by professionals in their fields.

In addition to the ensemble piece, Corner Canyon’s Dance Company competed with a performance from ‘MacBeth’ and ‘Othlello’ as well as students performing in two scenes and two other monologues. 

All told, 60 Corner Canyon High students participated in the national high school competition. Corner Canyon competes with schools whose enrollment is similar — between 1,500 and 2,000 students.

The opportunity also allowed students to attend shows and workshops, as well as see the work of high school students from other schools and receive professional actors’ feedback, Atkinson said.

While preparing for the Shakespeare competition, students also were in rehearsal for their upcoming musical, “Shrek,” which will be presented at 7 p.m. from Thursday, Nov. 19 through Saturday, Nov. 21, and again on Monday, Nov. 23 at the school auditorium, 12943 South 700 East. Tickets are available beginning late October at Showtix4U.com and will cost $8. Tickets at the door will be $10.

Prior to the Monday, Nov. 23 show, the cast will hold a silent auction beginning at 5 p.m. in the theatre lobby and will include an opportunity to take and buy pictures with the cast, as well as purchase food.

“It’s really a fun show,” Atkinson said. “We’re involving some younger students from other schools, so there’s tons of roles and solos that feature the talent of our students.”

Atkinson said that the entire cast makes up about 225 students who are involved on stage, in the orchestra pit, on the tech crew or part of the dance company. 

Jamie Corther, dance company adviser, is choreographing the show, along with guest choreographer Paul Winkleman. Melissa Thorne is the music director, Randal Clark is the instrumental director and Mark Oram is advising the tech crew.

The show stars senior Garrett Gibbons as Shrek, with senior Megan McLean appearing as Fiona and sophomore Stoney Grayer as Donkey.

Other leads include senior Wyatt Hendricks as Lord Farquaad, senior Dylan Manzanares as Pinocchio, senior Abby Maxwell as Gingy and senior Brittany Eldredge as Dragon.

Throughout the show, the audience can see fun product placements from local businesses that support Corner Canyon’s theater, Atkinson said.

“It costs about $20,000 to put on a musical, and these community businesses are supportive of our theater and helping us pay for the cost of scripts, microphones and lights. We truly appreciate the support of our community and our school for the arts,” she said. “It’s going to be a great family show.”

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