Who do you play? What is your role? Actor, Director, Sewer, Crew, Musician?
Hi! My name is Renee Schwarz and I am a senior this year. I play the absolutely wonderful Wicked Witch and a Featured Dancer in Shrek The Musical.
Is there something from rehearsals you can share with us?
Rehearsals are the highlight of my day. I look forward coming to them every single day and seeing all of the smiling faces of the underclassmen and upperclassmen as we learn a new song or dance. The cast and crew are such a family—we laugh and make fun of each other all of the time—and I am so lucky and humbled to be apart of it.
What’s challenging about bringing this script to life?
Shrek is a really challenging, yet rewarding show because there are so many different characters. Because we have so many characters, sometimes it’s hard to create your own individual character (which most likely has an accent of some sort) while still being apart of the ensemble and not drawing attention away from the scene. It is also very challenging when we have to sing pop ballad songs full out and dance a high speed hip-hop/jazz dance.
What’s challenging about bringing the world of Shrek to the stage (set, makeup, costumes wise)
The set is going to be amazing this year. We have more stationary elements, like a ramp and backdrop that will stay throughout the entire show, but we also have big set pieces that move on the stage for specific scenes. I think it is going to be interesting once we start rehearsing with them because it might change some of our blocking. I also feel really bad for makeup and costume crew because we have very unique costumes and makeup looks and most of the featured dancers have more than one costume change, so it will be a lot of work for them.
What will the audience be thinking about in the car as they drive home after this show?
How does the Witch do her accent?!
How is this production bringing something new to this story?
We are really delving into the theme of this musical which is to not only accept yourself but surround yourself with the people who accept you for who you are. We are all freaks and sometimes we tend to hide that because of society’s norms, but we all should learn that being weird makes you so much more interesting and happier.
Who in the show is most like their character?
Maisie Allen is most like her character Fiona because she burps and farts, constantly while still looking pretty.
If you could play any other character in this show, who would it be?
Uhh… Pinocchio or a Blind Mouse.
If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would play you?
Can Hugh Jackman play a girl?
When did you first perform?
I first started performing when I was in seventh grade when I took my first acting class. I loved it so much that I try to be involved in every show I possibly can, which sometimes leads to me overcommitting myself. This will be my fifth mainstage show at Homestead, my eighth show as Homestead overall, and my fourteenth show ever. Wow, I’ve never counted out how many I’ve ever done before.
When you have a five-minute break during rehearsal, what do you spend that time doing?
Not taking a break, and still dancing whatever dance we were doing. #TheGrindNeverStops
What’s your perfect Sunday afternoon look like?
Being able to have time to memorize my monologues for my upcoming UMN Acting auditions…