Red Mountain High School and the City of Mesa Adaptive Leisure program present Shrek the Musical JR. June 14-16

Shrek the Musical Jr on stage photoRed Mountain High School and the City of Mesa are once again teaming up for a unique summer theater production.

"It's a musical that features all actors with special needs," says Matt Erickson, director and Red Mountain High theatre teacher. "They're the stars."

Three years ago, Mesa's Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities department approached Erickson with an idea for the city's Adaptive Leisure program. The idea resulted in the Off Broadway Adaptive Recreation Program, which gives Mesa's youth and adults with intellectual disabilities the chance to star in their own show.

This year, the production is Shrek the Musical JR., which will be performed at Red Mountain High School June 14-16.

Red Mountain High students and other community volunteers help actors learn their lines, choreography and blocking. Last year's production of Seussical KIDS earned a 2017 Adaptive Program award from the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association.

Corelle, who plays Princess Fiona, is embracing the spotlight. "It's amazing," she says. "I have a lot of fun."

Ani Erickson, co-director, says the audience can learn a lot from watching the show. Having a disability doesn't prevent these actors from enjoying their experience, even if it means altering a dance move to let them shine.

"Don't set limitations, set expectations," she says. "They can do everything."

See Shrek the Musical JR. at the Red Mountain High School auditorium, 7301 E. Brown Rd., Mesa. Showtimes are 7 p.m. June 14-15, and 2 p.m. June 16. Tickets are $5 at the door.

(Story by Macie Williams/Mesa Public Schools. Photo by Aidan Caldwell/Mesa Public Schools)


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