Shrek The Musical
Everyone's favorite ogre is back in the hilarious stage spectacle based on the Oscar-winning, smash hit film.
Show Essentials
7
Roles
+ Ensemble
G
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Act One

Opening like a storybook, our musical adventure begins with a large ogre named Shrek narrating the story of his seventh birthday. As he narrates, the storybook comes to life, and we see Shrek's parents telling the seven-year old version of himself that it is time for him to venture out into the world on his own. As he does, his parents' warning that everyone will hate him because of his hideous looks proves to be true, and he is forced to live alone, embittered and angry in a swamp. Before our eyes, Shrek grows up, the adult ogre now stepping into the story that he was previously narrating ("Big Bright Beautiful World"). His lonely solitude is interrupted one day, however, when all of the Fairytale Creatures of the land show up to his swamp, banished there by Lord Farquaad ("Story of My Life"). Not at all pleased to have his home invaded and encouraged by the Fairytale Creatures, Shrek decides to travel to see Lord Farquaad in order to regain the privacy of his swamp ("The Goodbye Song"). Along the way, he rescues a talkative Donkey from Farquaad's guards and, after much begging on the Donkey's part ("Don't Let Me Go"), Shrek reluctantly allows him to tag along.

Meanwhile, in Duloc, we are introduced to Lord Farquaad, a tiny terror who is torturing Gingy the Gingerbread Man into revealing the whereabouts of a princess that he wishes to marry so that he may finally be a true king. Gingy claims that Princess Fiona is locked in a nearby tower, cut off by lava and a dragon. Lord Farquaad decides to have a festival to draw the name of a Duloc citizen that will have to fetch Princess Fiona for him. As the crowd gathers ("Welcome to Duloc / What's Up, Duloc?"), Shrek and Donkey arrive; Lord Farquaad demands that, in return for the deed to the swamp, Shrek must find and bring back Princess Fiona.

While Shrek and Donkey set off, the lights come up on seven-year old Fiona, stuck in her castle and dreaming that she will one day be rescued by one a prince ("True Love's First Kiss"). As she grows into a teenager, and then into a headstrong woman, she never loses her faith in her fairy tales ("I Know It's Today"). As Shrek and Donkey continue on their journey, Shrek becomes increasingly annoyed with Donkey's constant chattering ("Travel Song"). Somehow, though, deep down, a friendship has begun to form. After crossing the lava-bridge and then arriving at the castle, Shrek sets off alone to rescue Fiona while Donkey encounters a ferocious female Dragon ("Forever"). When Shrek reaches Fiona, she tries and fails to get him to play out the romantic scenarios found in her storybooks and, at last, he is forced to drag her off. Reunited with Donkey, they must then escape an angry Dragon. Fiona is thrilled to finally have her rescuer fighting for her ("This Is How a Dream Comes True"). Shrek traps the Dragon, and the trio makes it to safety, where Fiona is appalled to find that Shrek is an ogre and not Prince Charming. Shrek explains that he is merely her champion; instead, she is to wed Lord Farquaad. As the sun begins to set, Fiona becomes apprehensive, insisting that they rest and that she spend the night alone. Donkey and Shrek stay awake and, as Shrek finally opens up to his new friend for the first time, we see Fiona transformed into an ogress, alone in the moonlight ("Who I'd Be").

Act Two

The next day, Princess Fiona rises and, excited that it is her wedding day, dances around, singing ("Morning Person"). When she inquires about her groom-to-be, Shrek and Donkey let the "short" jokes fly, and Shrek begins to mock her childhood circumstances. Each thinking his/her own childhood is worse, the two begin a contest of one-upmanship that culminates in a battle of disgusting bodily noises. ("I Think I Got You Beat"). Through this, their pasts are revealed to one another, and a friendship is kindled.

Meanwhile, back in Duloc, Lord Farquaad plans his wedding, and he reveals his own sordid heritage ("The Ballad of Farquaad"). As Shrek and Fiona's newfound camaraderie grows into love, Donkey insists, with the help of the Three Blind Mice, that Shrek should tell Fiona how he feels ("Make a Move"). Before he can, though, the sun begins to set, and Fiona once again rushes away to bed. Refusing to give up on the thought, Donkey goes to the barn where Fiona has retreated, only to discover that she turns into an ogress at night due to a curse placed on her as a child by a witch. She tells Donkey that only a kiss from her true love will return her to love's true form. Alone, Shrek tries to summon the courage to express his feelings ("When Words Fail") and, when he finally goes to tell Fiona, he overhears the end of her conversation with Donkey, completely mistaking her description of herself as an ugly beast for a reference to him. Hurt, he storms off.

The next day, transformed back into her human form, Fiona decides to tell Shrek about her curse ("Morning Person – Reprise"). When Fiona tries to explain, however, Shrek rebuffs her. Farquaad and his army approach to claim Fiona, who, now upset herself, not only agrees to the marriage, but also insists that it take place before sunset. Donkey tries to appeal to Shrek, but Shrek rejects him, angry that Donkey would talk about him with Fiona behind his back, and declares he will return to his swamp, alone ("Build a Wall").

Elsewhere, while the Fairytale Creatures, evicted from the swamp, head for their new home, they decide they've had it with Farquaad's discriminatory treatment ("Freak Flag"). With a newfound confidence, they decide to return to Duloc and take on Lord Farquaad. Back at the swamp, Donkey and Shrek argue until Shrek is convinced that Donkey and Fiona weren't talking about him. Each one forgives the other, and Donkey convinces Shrek that Fiona cares about him. They rush to Duloc, and Shrek is able to stop the wedding just in the knick of time. He finally finds the words to express his feelings, declaring his love to and for Fiona ("Big Bright Beautiful World – Reprise"). Caught between love and her desire to break the curse, Fiona tries to escape the event, but the exiled Fairytale Creatures storm the wedding and protest their banishment. Amidst the protests, the sun sets, turning Fiona back into an ogress in front of everyone. Farquaad is disgusted but insists the marriage is already binding, claiming he will lock Fiona in a tower and continue to rule as Duloc's true King. Shrek whistles for the Dragon that they met earlier, and she swoops in, destroying Farquaad in one fiery breath. Finally free of Farquaad, Shrek and Fiona admit their love for one another and share a kiss. Fiona's curse is broken, and she takes her true form: an ogress. At first, she is ashamed of her looks, but Shrek declares that she is still beautiful. Shrek and Fiona begin a new life together as everyone celebrates what makes them special ("This Is Our Story"). They all live happily ever after ("I'm a Believer").

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Flexible
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Shrek
Our story's title character. A big, green, terrifying ogre who lives alone on a swamp. He embarks on a journey to rid his land of fairytale creatures and, along the way, falls in love with Fiona. Begins as a grumpy hermit, but reveals his layers and eventually becomes the hero.
Gender: male
Age: 25 to 45
Vocal range top: G#4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Fiona
The beautiful princess of Far Far Away, she transforms into an ogre every night when the sun sets. Rescued by Shrek and eventually falls in love with him. Quirky, blunt, and multitalented, she is not an ordinary princess.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: G5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Donkey
A talking donkey who joins Shrek on the run from Farquaad's guards. Quite the chatterbox, he is not deterred by Shrek's looks and practically forces himself into his good graces. Easily frightened and pushy, but also an optimistic with heart.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 35
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: C3
Lord Farquaad
The comically short, ruthless ruler of Duloc. He is in search of a princes to marry so that he can become king. Has an intensely unfair bias against fairytale creatures that stems from a resentment of his father. Self-absorbed, lonely, and cruel.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 45
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: B2
Dragon
A dragon that has been charged with guarding Princess Fiona in her isolated castle. She eventually falls in love with Donkey and attempts to keep him there forever. Imposing and flirtatious, but tired of her job as the glorified baby-sitter.
Gender: female
Age: 25 to 45
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: F3
Gingy
A gingerbread man initially kidnapped by Lord Farquaad. His wit and resolution help him both avoid trouble and inspire the rest of the fairytale creatures. Puppet. Can be operated by actress appearing as Sugar Plum Fairy.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: C#5
Vocal range bottom: B3
Pinocchio
The leader of the fairytale creatures. He is an animated puppet whose nose grows every time he lies. Plenty of sass with a penchant for lying.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: F#4
Vocal range bottom: E3
Ensemble
Fairytale Creatures (Big Bad Wolf, Three Little Pigs, White Rabbit, Fairy Godmother, Peter Pan, Wicked Witch, Ugly Duckling, Three Bears, Mad Hatter, Humpty Dumpty, Elf, Dwarf, Three Blind Mice); Angry Mob; Happy People; Guards; Knights; Rats
Full Song List
Shrek The Musical: Overture/Big Bright Beautiful World
Shrek The Musical: Story of My Life
Shrek The Musical: Don't Let Me Go
Shrek The Musical: What's Up, Duloc?
Shrek The Musical: I Know It's Today
Shrek The Musical: Travel Song
Shrek The Musical: This is How a Dream Comes True
Shrek The Musical: Who I'd Be
Shrek The Musical: Morning Person
Shrek The Musical: I Think I Got You Beat
Shrek The Musical: The Ballad Of Farquaad
Shrek The Musical: Make A Move
Shrek The Musical: When Words Fail
Shrek The Musical: Morning Person (Reprise)
Shrek The Musical: Build a Wall
Shrek The Musical: Freak Flag
Shrek The Musical: This is Our Story (Big Bright Beautiful World Reprise)

Show History

Inspiration

Shrek The Musical is based on the Oscar-winning, animated DreamWorks film. Shrek was released in 2001, featuring an all-star cast, including Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and John Lithgow. The original film was so successful that it led to a series of sequels: Shrek 2, Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After. Both the movie and the musical draw from William Steig's picture book, Shrek!

Productions

Shrek The Musical held an out-of-town tryout at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle from August 14, 2008, to September 21, 2008.

It began previews at The Broadway Theatre on November 8, 2008, and opened on December 14, 2008. Directed by Jason Moore and choreographed by Josh Prince, the production featured Brian d'Arcy James, Sutton Foster, Christopher Sieber, John Tartaglia and Daniel Breaker.

Shrek The Musical closed January 3, 2010, after 441 performances, 37 previews and a twelve-month Broadway run. It then went on to have several national tours, as well as being frequently licensed in regional markets.

Following the Broadway production, Shrek The Musical premiered in the West End at the Drury Lane Theatre, where it ran from 2011 to 2013. It has gone on to be produced in many countries internationally, including a UK National tour.

Cultural Influence

  • A High Definition filming of the Broadway production was released on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download on October 15, 2013, in North America and December 2, 2013, in the UK.
  • Broadway luminary, Sutton Foster, earned her fourth Tony Award nomination for her performance as Princess Fiona.
  • Shrek The Musical marked the first Broadway venture for DreamWorks Theatricals, a stage-oriented arm of the company that made the animated film.

Trivia

  • Shrek The Musical was nominated for eight Tony Awards, twelve Drama Desk Awards and a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album.
  • Broadway legend, Julie Andrews, who played Queen Lillian in Shrek 2, Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After, provided the voice for the audio instructions before each Broadway performance, reminding audience members to turn off their cell phones and unwrap their candies.
  • The song, "Donkey Pot Pie" (which is included on the show's cast recording), was later replaced by "Forever" for the national tour and all subsequent productions. 
  • The original production cost $24 million, which meant that, at the time, it was the most expensive musical to open on Broadway.

Critical Reaction

"This collaboration of David Lindsay-Abaire and Jeanine Tesori delivers a funny, lively fairy tale about a misanthropic outsider and a princess with a darksecret"

– Hartford Courant

"A fun, largely successful musical version of the first installment of the hugely successful film franchise."

– Hollywood Reporter



"It looks like a big, fat hit."

– USA Today

Connect

Billing

Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture and the book by William Steig

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
Licensee shall incorporate the following credits and comply with all size and other restrictions on the title page of all playbills and programs, and in all houseboards, displays and in all other advertising, press release and any other promotional material, except as otherwise provided below, as follows:
SHREK THE MUSICAL
(100%)
 
Based on the Dreamworks Animation Motion Picture and the book by William Steig
(15%)
 
Book and Lyrics by
Music by
DAVID LINDSAY-ABAIRE
(50%)
JEANINE TESORI
(50%)
Originally produced on Broadway by
DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Productions
(45%)
 
In addition, Jason Moore and Rob Ashford, the directors of the original DreamWorks' production of the Play ("Original Directors"), shall receive billing wherever the director of your production receives credit, in a size no less than the size of the billing accorded to the director of your production.  The Original Directors credit shall appear directly above or below the other director's credit, and shall read as follows:
"Original Production Directed by Jason Moore and Rob Ashford"
 
Producer agrees to place the following credit on the title page of all programs for the Play as follows:   
"I'm a Believer" by Neil Diamond
 
In addition, Producer agrees to place the following credits in all programs for the Play as follows (need not be on title page):     
"I'm a Believer" (Neil Diamond) (c) 1966 Stonebridge Music, Foray Music. 
All rights administered by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC (SESAC), on behalf of Stonebridge Music,
and by Foray Music (SESAC).  All rights reserved.  Used by permission.
 
Shrek The Musical Theatre for Young Audiences Version premiered at The Coterie, Kansas City, MO; Jeff Church Producing Artistic Director, Anthony Edwards Music Director.
 
In addition, you shall include biographies of the Authors and the Original Directors in all programs of the Play.   Biographies can be found on MTI's website at http://www.mtishows.com/authorbios
In advertisements of 1/4 page size or less or where only the title of the play, stars and/or producers billed above the title, critics quotes, ticket price scales, performance dates and venue are provided, the following "shortened billing" is permissible:
SHREK THE MUSICAL

Video Warning

If you purchase a separate license to allow non-commercial video recording of this production, you must print the following in your program. ANY VIDEO RECORDING MADE OF THIS PERFORMANCE IS AUTHORIZED FOR PERSONAL, AT-HOME, NON-COMMERCIAL USE ONLY. THE SALE OR DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH RECORDING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED UNDER FEDERAL COPYRIGHT LAW. If you do not purchase the separate license for video recording, you must print the following in your program. The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
ERRATA LIST1
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK25
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE ACT 12
PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE ACT 22

Production Resources

Resource
KEYBOARD PATCH SOLUTIONS
LOGO PACK
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT SMALL
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT X-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT XX-LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD LARGE
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD MEDIUM
LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD SMALL
ORCHEXTRA
PERFORMANCE ACCOMPANIMENT RECORDING
PRODUCTIONPRO
REFERENCE RECORDING
REHEARSCORE+
SCENE PARTNER
STAGE MANAGER SCRIPT
TRANSPOSITIONS-ON-DEMAND
VIDEO LICENSE
VIRTUAL STAGE MANAGER

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASSACOUSTIC BASS , ELECTRIC BASS , ELECTRIC 5-STRING
CELLO
DRUMSBASKET SHAKER , BELL TREE , DRUM KIT , KELTIC ARENA DRUMS , LARGE SHAKER , MARK TREE , PICCOLO SNARE DRUM , SMALL SHAKER , TAMBOURINE , WOOD/TEMPLE BLOCKS
GUITARARCHTOP GUITAR , ELEC. STRATOCASTER , ELECTRIC GUITAR , NYLON ACOUSTIC , STEEL GUITAR , STEEL STRG ACOUSTIC , UKULELE
GUITAR 2ELECTRIC GUITAR , MANDOLIN , NYLON ACOUSTIC , STEEL STRG ACOUSTIC , 12-STRING ACOUSTIC
HORN
KEYBOARD 1
KEYBOARD 2
PERCUSSIONBELL TREE , BIG TRIANGLE , BONGOS , CASTANETS , CHIMES , CLAVE , CONGAS , COWBELL , CROTALES , DJEMBE , DUMBEK , FINGER CYMBALS , GLOCKENSPIEL , GRAN CASSA , MARK TREE , ORCHESTRA BELLS , PIATTI , PICCOLO SNARE DRUM , SHAKER , SLEIGH BELLS , SMALL SHAKER , SNARE DRUM , SUSPENDED CYMBAL , TAM TAM , TAMBOURINE , TEMPLE BLOCKS , TIMPANI , WOOD BLOCK , XYLOPHONE
REED 1ALTO SAXOPHONE , CLARINET , FLUTE , PICCOLO
REED 2BARITONE SAXOPHONE , BASS CLARINET , CLARINET , FLUTE , SOPRANO SAXOPHONE , TENOR SAXOPHONE
TROMBONEBASS TROMBONE , TENOR TROMBONE
TRUMPETFLUGELHORN , PICCOLO TRUMPET , TRUMPET
VIOLIN
VIOLIN 2