Donkey (Reece Doppenberg) gets a lesson from Shrek (Brock Fast) on how life is layered like an onion during one of the musical numbers.

Shrek coming to a Langley school stage

Langley Fundamental Middle and Secondary School has chosen a musical popular with kids and adults.

PHOTO: Shrek the Musical runs at 7 p.m. on April 29 and 30 and May 6 and 7 as well as at 1 p.m. on April 30 and May 7. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

Reece Doppenberg is only too happy to go on stage and play a jackass.

The outgoing Grade 11 student at Langley Fundamental Middle and Secondary School said better to play one than be one.

Doppenberg admits his life could have taken a very different direction, going full bore into the teen rebellion with its apathy and disrespect.

“I swore a ton,” he said.

There was peer pressure to get involved in drugs and alcohol. It looked like the mould was set.

Then he found an opportunity to change his path in life thanks to a show about following the yellow brick road. He played the Tin Man in a school production of The Wizard of Oz and he considers the arts experience life-changing.

“The people there showed me it’s okay to be you,” Doppenberg said. “I kind of found my place.”

PHOTO: Lord Farquaad (rear centre) is played by Bradley Thompson, Grade 12. His underlings include Brade 10 student Ben Van Dommelen (rear left); Mia Xu, Grade 11; Isabelle Xia, Grade 9; Hiroki Ueno, Grade 12; and Grade 12 student Miranda Sarchet, as the masked executioner. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

For this production, he wanted the part of Donkey.

“It’s probably the best role in Shrek,” he said. “You get to be super funny and goofy.”

But the exhuberant goofiness is a means to an end – conveying the message of the show.

“He’s just lonely, and he puts himself out there to try and get a friend” Doppenberg said. “It’s a play about accepting people.”

While he’s enjoying having the role of the wise-cracking sidekick, Doppenberg’s future will be very academically rigourous.

His plans are to study the sciences with an eye to becoming an doctor. He plans to keep a hand in the arts, such as taking part in community theatre and such.

PHOTO: Stephen Franklin, Grade 9, is on the crew for Shrek, working on the computerized musical cues for performers such as Stephanie Slusar, a Grade 9 student portraying Fiona. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

The LFMSS production opens at 7 p.m. April 29. Shows are at 7 p.m. on April 30, May 6 and May 7. There are 1 p.m. matinees April 30 and May 7.

Shows are at 215250 42nd Ave. Advance tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. At the door, the price is $15 and $12, respectively.

People can order tickets at shreklangley.com.

PHOTO: Grade 8 student Emil Stein worked behind the scenes on Shrek the Musical. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

PHOTO: Shrek, portrayed by Grade 12 student Brock Fast, cuts an attention-getting figure in the Langley Fundamental Middle and Secondary School musical. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

PHOTO: Reece Doppenberg is enjoying playing the role of Donkey in Shrek the Musical. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance)

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