Over 50 UGA students are part of the cast and crew for “Shrek the Musical.” TRISTEN T. WEBB/Provided
ATHENS — It’s a story reflecting the message of Psalm 139, that each and every person is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” It’s a story in line with the Gospel message, that although everyone may feel “other,” in Christ “we’re all one big family in our otherness.”
That’s the true heart of “Shrek the Musical” according to Doug Goodin, director and member of the University of Georgia’s Baptist Collegiate Ministries, and Jerry Johnson, campus minister.
From Feb. 28- March 1, the UGA BCM will be facilitating this musical performance to raise funds for Send Me Now summer missions. Thirteen UGA students will be participating in summer missions through the Georgia Baptist Collegiate Ministry.
The performances will be at the historic Morton Theatre in downtown Athens, with coffee and dessert being served before each of the four performances. Around 400 seats are left, and tickets are $22 ($15 for students).
This is the 39th year for the dessert theatre fundraiser, but the first time it is held at the Morton Theatre. While this move was practical for the sake of BCM building renovations, one of the hopes is that the performance reaches out to the community at large and more of the student body.
The message of Shrek
The production – produced, directed, orchestrated, and performed by UGA students – is an outreach at heart. Many of the students are not involved in the BCM, but at each rehearsal take part in a devotional time. In return, they get to put on their resume this official acting experience.
“This is an outreach of the BCM to reach out and share the love of Christ and the Gospel by way of the message of ‘Shrek,’” Johnson said.
For Goodin, in his third year as a Theatre and Political Science major at UGA, the message really hits home.
“I struggled a lot in my life with body image issues and body shaming. Specifically, last year was just a very dark time in my life. However, through studying Scripture – especially Psalm 139 and how God created us in his own perfect design – I got through that time,” he shared.
“So, when I was trying to pick a show, I was really looking for a story that would appeal to not only Christians in the audience but also college students in general,” Goodin continued.
“When I looked at Shrek, that’s a show where every character wakes up and they see something they do not like in the mirror. And it’s only when they realize their inner beauty, when they realize they were made exactly the way they were meant to be made – they’re not a mistake – they’re lives are not some cruel joke – it’s only at that point they look in the mirror and find the things they like about themselves. They look in the mirror and say, ‘I do like what I see.’ That’s honestly what drew me to the show.”
In a culture desperately in need of this message, “This show just really preaches, ‘No, you were made exactly the way God intended you to be made.’ That’s why I think this is such an important show for Christians at this time, for college students at this time, for this culture. That’s why I think this is such a good show for that.”
“Man, I’m just honored to be in the shadow of this things. It’s an awesome production, top quality,” Johnson remarked after sitting in on a rehearsal.
For more information, contact the BCM @ UGA at (706) 549-2747. To purchase tickets, visit mortontheatre.com.
Myriah Snyder serves as content editor for The Christian Index.