Local to star in Fort Totten’s production of Shrek the Musical

Following her massive success in her directorial debut for the Langdon Community Theater in late February, Langdon local Emily Braunberger began searching through the shows the summer theaters in the area would be putting on.

Emily in Fort Toten

Posted on 7/2/16

By Melissa Anderson

In April, Braunberger stumbled upon the Fort Totten Summer Theater flyer for auditions for their summer theater production.

“I was in Devils Lake for a wedding and happened to stop by the Liquid Bean coffee shop with some friends when I saw a flier on the front window for auditions for Shrek with Fort Totten,” Braunberger said.

Upon seeing the flier, Braunberger knew that she had to be part of the production. That was until she saw that the auditions were on that exact day at the exact time that she was standing in the coffee shop.

“My heart sank, thinking that I couldn’t do the auditions because I wasn’t prepared,” Braunberger recalled, “I didn’t have music, hadn’t practiced a song, wasn’t dressed right, didn’t know if the auditions were ‘come as you can’ or a big cattle-call type group audition.”

Feeling defeated, Braunberger continued about her day and during a conversation with some friends about half an hour later, she got on the topic of the auditions and mentioned how disappointed she had been that she didn’t know about them beforehand. That’s when her friends started pushing her, encouraging her to just go scope it out and give it a try.

“Believe it or not, that was slightly out of my comfort zone but before I knew it my friends were dragging me to the auditions. I just showed up and sang ,and two weeks later I landed the role of Princess Fiona,” Braunberger said.

Shrek the Musical is based off the Dreamworks film from the early 2000s. It tells the story of the grumpy, unfriendly ogre Shrek who finds his home, a swamp, overrun by fairy tale characters that were banished from the kingdom of Duloc by Lord Farquaad. Shrek, in the company of an annoying talking Donkey, is determined to have his swamp returned to him and unexpectedly finds himself on a journey to rescue Princess Fiona from a dragon-guarded tower and return her to Duloc to marry Lord Farquaad.

“The show also has a couple of over-arching theme,” Braunberger said, “One lesson that Princess Fiona learns by the end of the show is that happily-ever-afters don’t always look like the fairy tale stories that everyone knows and loves. Sometimes they look a little bit different, and that’s ok.”

The other big theme is acceptance. The fairy tale creatures are kicked out of the kingdom of Duloc for being “freaks”, and Princess Fiona has a big secret that she tries to hide from everyone. The show teaches us that it is ok to be who we are and to accept other people for who they are.

“We’ve worked really hard ,and now this last week of rehearsals is putting it all together and making it work as a whole,” Braunberger said, “It’s been a fun group to work with. Our principal roles [Shrek, Donkey, Lord Farquaad] are so outstanding and hilarious. They are going to be great!”

For Braunberger the summer has flown by so fast already, but she is very excited and enthusiastic to share the production and cordially invites everyone to the show.

“It’s been crazy and exhausting but I know that at the very end of our last Shrek performance, I’ll know that it will have been worth it all,” Braunberger said.

If you have ever seen the movie, you will love the musical. The story remains mostly the same with only a few differences. The music is fun and catchy, the humor is witty, and hilarious, and it’s just overall a fun, family-friendly musical. With a great cast and fun filled script, the production promises non-stop laughter.

“I would really love for a lot of the Langdon community to come out and support the arts. I would love to see you all there,” Braunberger said.

Fort Totten’s production of Shrek the Musical opens on July 6 and will run every Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday through July 31 with two Monday performances on the 11 and the 25 and two Sunday matinees on the 17 and 31. Evening performances are at 7:30 p.m., and the matinees are at 2 p.m. located at Fort Totten Little Theater in Fort Totten 13 miles south of Devils Lake on Highway 20. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by calling the Box Office at 701-662-8888.