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Shrek's fairy-tale swamp to be staged in Hays

By DAWNE LEIKER

dleiker@dailynews.net

As part of its North American tour, "Shrek the Musical" will bring its fairy tale swamp-land adventures to a Hays audience.

The Fort Hays State University Encore Series presentation will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.

The story of a misunderstood ogre who undertakes a life-changing journey will be a familiar adventure to those who have seen the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film.

"It is good for all age groups," Stacy Myers, company manager of the Shrek tour, said in a phone interview. "Little kids love it.

"College kids love it, and parents love it. It has some adult humor as well. ... So there's something for everybody."

Myers, a Topeka native, has been on tour throughout the Midwest and East Coast with the musical since September. Speaking from a stop in Kansas City, Myers said she planned to take a quick side trip home to Topeka as the musical hits Kansas.

"Shrek the Musical" is Myers' sixth touring production. She toured last year with "Young Frankenstein."

There's no routine day in the life of a company manager, Myers said. Most of her job involves handling details such as financial settlements with theaters, travel and accommodations for the company, and day-to-day planning.

Myers graduated from Washburn University, beginning her academic studies as a performance-based theater major. Through the course of her studies, she increasingly became interested in company management and designed an interdisciplinary studies program for herself that was accepted by the university.

"It was very interesting, and I was very fortunate that Washburn allowed me to do that," she said. "Just because it helped my pursuit more than a performance degree would have. ... I just love theater, and I knew I wanted to be part of that."

She said she looks forward to bringing "Shrek the Musical," with its "magical" storybook sets, to the Beach/Schmidt stage.

"Shrek is such a funny movie," she said. "So anybody who enjoyed the movie is going to love the stage version."

Tickets for the production are moving fast, according to Vince Bowhay, assistant director of Memorial Union, with only 60 to 70 still available. General public admission is $40 for reserved and $36 for unreserved; seniors and ages 5 to 17 are $38 for reserved and $34 for unreserved; and FHSU students, $31 for reserved and $27 for unreserved.

Tickets are available at the FHSU Student Service Center, Memorial Union, or by calling (785) 628-5308.