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The show will go on, we hope: CHS Theater's 'Shrek' rescheduled for July 16-19

  • A pre-coronavirus photo of the "Shrek" cast.

    A pre-coronavirus photo of the "Shrek" cast.
    Herald Tribune file photo/Jim Beers

By Jim Beers
Contributing writer
updated: 5/7/2020 10:59 AM

Let the third time be the charm.

The Chester High School production of "Shrek the Musical" will go on if Director Brenda Coop has anything to say about it.

Coop has rescheduled the "Shrek" performances for a second time, this time to July 16-19. The theater kids camp, a tradition at Chester High School musicals, will be held July 18.

The show was originally scheduled to run March 19-22, and then was postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic to April 30-May 3.

Those days came and went as Illinois' and Randolph County's coronavirus numbers continued to rise and the stay-at-home order was extended.

Now, Coop is hoping that restrictions will be loosened enough by July that the musical can be performed.

Coop met with Chester High School Principal, Missy Meyer, and both are determined to get the show produced.

"Mrs. Meyer said we would be able to have the production even if we had to wait until school started in the fall," Coop said. "She assured me that if at all possible we would get 'Shrek' on the stage. The kids have worked hard to prepare their parts and I really feel bad for them, especially the seniors."

Coop said it will take at least three weeks to ready the show for the stage once everyone is back together.

"There is a lot involved in getting ready once again and we have a lot invested in the show already," she added. "Financially, we really do need to have an opportunity to recover the revenue we have already invested in the show."

Coop said people holding "Shrek" tickets will be able to use them at the corresponding performances in July. Meaning, a ticket for Thursday, March 19 will automatically be good for Thursday, July 16.

"If times and dates are not convenient for the summer show, I will try to trade or replace your original tickets for times and days when you can attend," Coop said. "I realize that not everyone will be able to attend at the same times and dates, but I will do my best to accommodate issues."

Showtimes are 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8, or $5 for students. Small children who can sit on a parent's lap can come for free.

Coop said that there are good seats available for all shows.

Coop said so far, all but two "Shrek" cast members have assured her they can be part of the July shows.

"I am not sure about the other 21 set crew members and the 25 hair and makeup artists, but to date, no one has told me that they could not make it," she added.

There are also 34 production staffers, mostly adults, Coop said. "Hopefully, all of them will still be available."

Meanwhile, the Kids Camp will be held the morning of Saturday, July 18 and those 23 "cast" members will perform prior to the "Shrek" curtain on Saturday night.

"In fact several of the parents of the campers have told me that their kids are still working hard learning their songs for the Kids Camp performance," Coop said. "That is pretty special!"

Coop warns that the coronavirus is unpredictable and the July dates are subject to change.

"We can't really control that, but we pray for good results and that we are able to take the stage July 16-19," she said. "I really am concerned for the seniors who have worked hard and may not have an opportunity to take the stage again after this year."