The Kempenfelt Community Players (KCP) is a community theatre group that has been performing in Barrie and the surrounding area for decades. The group, made up of enthusiastic members who have a love for live theatre, is preparing for their upcoming performance of Shrek.

Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks Animation film, Shrek The Musical is a Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure, featuring all new songs from Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie; Caroline, or Change) and a sidesplitting book by David Lindsay-Abaire. Shrek brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage and proves there’s more to the story than meets the ears.

Travel along with Shrek, Donkey, Fiona, Dragon, and all the rest, as this stellar cast leads you on a fabulously fresh storybook journey from the Swamp to Duloc and back again. “The challenge of taking on a production like this is the incredibly high standard that so many people hold for these classic characters,” says director Stephen Bainborough. “Our cast of incredibly talented individuals has taken that challenge to a new level that is sure to surprise and delight our audiences.”

It’s true, the cast of Shrek The Musical reads like a who’s who of local stage talent, take for example Renèe Cingolani, wonderful in the role of Dragon. She has performed throughout North America with multiple theatre companies, and the KW Symphony, and is part of the Cirque de Soleil talent database. Her husband, Darryn Stephens, who is hilarious as the diminutive Farquaad, has performed throughout Ontario with Royal Opera Canada, Theatre by the Bay, Theatre Collingwood, and Sunshine Festival Theatre Co.

Joining them on stage is Mike Holland who brings his abounding energy and talent to the character of Donkey. As well as being an accomplished actor (Jesus Christ Superstar and Seussical), teacher, and director, Holland is the co-founder of Barrie’s own Moving Art studios. And, Natasha Paquin who, having been seen locally in many varied theatre productions, brings to life the determined and sassy Princess/Ogress Fiona in this her fourth KCP production.

“Ben (Kyte) had stepped away from doing shows for the last few years so we were very excited when he auditioned,” says Bainborough. “I can honestly say he was born to play the role of the lovable ogre Shrek. This is a performance not to be missed.” Kyte has played such memorable roles as Horton in Seussical, Marcellus in The Music Man and Moonface Martin in Anything Goes.

For information and to purchase tickets, visit or call the box office at 705-739-4228.

Photo: Kempenfelt Community Players present Shrek from Feb. 7 to 17 at the Georgian Theatre. Ben Kyte takes on the lead role of Shrek.

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