By Liv Pearson
An opportunity to star in Riverside City College Theatre’s “Shrek the Musical” brought one of the first occasions of traffic to the campus in almost one year.
Students and non-students made their way to Landis Auditorium on March 1 to showcase their talents by singing bars from the musical, hoping to land the roles of Shrek, Fionna, Donkey, Lord Farquaad and several other fairytale creatures found in the classic film.
The masked auditionees waited outside the auditorium in a socially distanced crowd until they were called, in accordance with COVID-19 safety guidelines. Katelyn Herbert, 27, waited in anticipation. She found out about the opportunity online.
“I was browsing for colleges to enroll in so I can get my Law degree,” Herbert said. “I saw the announcement on the (RCC) Theatre page and decided to audition.” Despite having experience in the performing arts realm, Herbert explained that auditioning for the roles of Gingy and Princess Fiona inspired excitement.
A group of students in line, who have been involved with the RCC Theatre program for two years, said they learned about the auditions through their theatre instructor during class.
“I’m excited to see how different things will be,” a member of the group named Angelica Alatorre said, referring to COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Josh Casis, a 17-year-old high school senior, said he has taken part in 27 different theatre productions. The pandemic has vastly altered theater life, he added.
“A lot has changed,” Casis said. “Everything is mostly online. There hasn’t been a lot of live performances.”
To Casis, live performances are far more rewarding.
“The audience is more engaged,” he said. “Their energy gives me energy”.
RCC Theatre announced the cast members on social media March 5.
Charles Martinez will play the role of Shrek, Victoria Villamil will play Princess Fiona and Bijan Slack will play Donkey. The cast will feature 48 members. Rehearsals are scheduled to begin March 15.
“Shrek the Musical” will be one of the first in-person events held by RCC since the college’s closure in the spring of 2020. The live performance is set to be held outdoors June 3-4.