“Big, bright and beautiful.” Not words you would generally think about when considering Shrek, but when going to the musical, it’s a must.

The Idaho Falls Youth Arts Centre is performing the musical starting this Friday, Nov. 16 – 17 and Nov. 19 – 20 at the Civic Auditorium in Idaho Falls.

Message of the Musical

Director Sandi Herrin says they decided to do the musical because of its message.

“It has got a great message of acceptance, love and empowerment that I really appreciate as a director,” she said. “Especially since we are the Idaho Falls Youth Arts Centre I think it is a great message for our youth.”

Working with the Youth

Putting this play together has been a lot of work and Sandi says she feels the pressure.

“It’s is such a privilege and a joy because they just trust you, they come and show up, and they trust that one - they are going to learn something two - they are going to have fun and three - you are going to make them look good,” Herrin said. “That is a lot of pressure”

Herrin says they work with actors from the ages of 8 all the way to 80. This fall musical is special because it is a mentor musical. Meaning each adult in the show is mentoring a young person. That includes actors, backstage specialists and even Herrin is mentoring a high school student on directing.

“He’s been with me every day, he has a block to sing in the show, he is directing the set, he fills in with me when I need him to fill in and take a group and work out blocking with them so he is learning right at the heels of someone who is a professional in the field,” she said.

Something Herrin hopes the students learn from participating in theater is the spirit of volunteerism.

“That is what keeps our communities together, it’s the glue of our community is volunteerism and that is what community theater is all about,” Herrin said. “So if that is what we accomplish from what we are doing than I think it’s a job well done.”

Reactions to the Show

As far as the show goes, Herrin says they had a mostly positive reaction from the group when it was announced that would be the fall play. Many people are aware of the musical from watching it on Netflix.

When Herrin first saw the play she said that she was surprised at how much she enjoyed it.

“I was absolutely impressed with how they took that basic cartoon story and really turned it into something with substance,” Herrin said.

She is confident anyone else who comes will also enjoy themselves.

 “You are going to be surprised and impressed with how meaty and real story this is. It’s cartoony in its essence, but deep down in its heart is a great, great lifetime story,” Herrin said.

Many costumes they are using have been handmade, however the majority of them have been rented from the Tuacahn Amphitheater in St. George, Utah.

“We are going to really visually appeal to people,” Herrin said.

Goal of the Musical

The goal of the play is to, of course, entertain. However that is not the sole goal of the play, Herrin hopes people will walk away a different person.

“You’ve learned something, you’ve grown a little, you’ve related to something differently than you related before you came into the show,” Herrin said. “You have opened your eyes your mind your heart to something that is a new possibility. You leave with a smile on your face and an imprint on your heart.”

Go to IFYAC.org to purchase tickets, they will be performing at the newly remodeled Civic Auditorium from Nov. 16 – 17 and Nov. 19 - 20.