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TOM BARNES, San Clemente

The San Clemente High School performing arts program continues to offer superior theatrical productions. The latest is Shrek The Musical, directed by Kirsti McCleary. 

This story of acceptance and tolerance is even more poignant today than when it was released as an animated film by DreamWorks in 2001.  In a world dominated by social media, in the words of the director, “We all need the story of Shrek more now than ever.”

As with all SCHS productions, the vocals, sets and choreography are all first-rate. Special kudos to the lead roles of  Shrek (Austin Arnwine); Donkey (Zach Mallgrave); Princess Fiona (Viviana Moiso); Lord Farquaad (Mitch Bell); and Dragon (Emma Rhodes). 

It is not the lead roles that make SCHS productions unique, but the proverbial cast of thousands of characters who are able to participate.

Another unique feature to San Clemente drama is the fact the crew is given credit just like the cast by a short bio and a photo in the program. To my knowledge, no other drama production gives such credit to their crew.

The one drawback to the drama program is the lack of a proper facility for the productions.  How is it that newer schools like Capistrano Valley and San Juan Hills have first-rate new theaters and San Clemente is relegated to a “cafetorium” that is a poor substitute for a real theater?

Finally, the strength of the program is in good hands, as Kirsti McCleary stepped in for departed director Laurie Mason and the show went on without a hitch. 

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