Friendswood Theater events include “Shrek Jr.” musical

New adventures at the Purple Box Theater in Friendswood kick off this weekend with performances of a musical and a comedy, followed by an international competition and several spring classes.

The January 14-16 production of “Shrek the Musical Jr.” will be performed by a team of students who will represent Purple Box at Junior Theater Festival West next month.

“We will be participating in the group arbitration with a 15-minute cut of ‘Shrek Jr.’ this includes acting, singing and dancing,” said Cathy Holbrook, founding artistic director of the group.

Additionally, five students from the team will participate in the festival’s ‘Tech Olympics’, where they will be timed while performing quick changes, marking sets and setting up props.

Four dancers from the group will audition for the opportunity to travel to New York and film an instructional DVD featuring choreography for upcoming junior musicals.

What: “Shrek the Musical Jr.”

Or: Purple Box Theater, 1309 W. Parkwood, Friendswood |

When: 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14-15 and 2 p.m. Jan. 16 (full)

Admission: $15

Information: 818-642-4665;

“Dancers will receive choreography at the festival to learn and audition for,” Holbrook said.

JTF West will be held February 18-21 in Sacramento, California.

Representing Purple Box in the selections of “Shrek Jr.” will be: John George as Shrek, Ryan Hoxie (Donkey), Kate Wilds (Princess Fiona) and Jaxson Carr (Lord Farquaad).

Also representing the theater in the selections will be: Candy Linton, Kate Walker, Carter Payne, Julia Acevedo, Carmen Schultz, Molly Sather, Abbey Pearce, Lyla Morris, Caidyn Jones, Valerie Rodriguez, Andrew Brown, Harmony McGown, Rebecca Gard, Sadie Hamon , Lillian Costello and Mya Ott.

Holbrook directed the show, with T’Mar Bunch as musical director, and they choreographed musical numbers with Victoria Reyes and Sydney Moore.

The dance captains are Schultz, Wilds and Linton.

Purple Box has won a number of group and individual honors at previous JTF events.

Also this weekend, the Wednesday drama class will perform a comedy, “Witch’s Brew,” at 4 p.m. on January 15 and 4:30 p.m. on January 16. Tickets are $15.

This spring’s Teen Music Class, aimed at students ages 13 to 17, kicks off Jan. 22 and culminates in May 13-15 performances of “Disney’s High School Musical 2 Jr.”

The same show will be presented from May 13 to 15 by students aged 11 to 13. Their classes will begin on February 7.

Classes for children ages 7 to 11 will begin Feb. 7 and end May 20 with a production of the Young Actors’ Edition of “Cats.”

Different from the musical theater courses, there is a theatrical production course for students from 9 to 17 years old. It will begin on February 9 and will culminate with performances from May 13 to 15 of a play, “Prom-pocalypse”.

“It’s just theater, no music, no dancing, just acting,” Holbrook said.

“We also have improvisation classes for children and adults, who simply act spontaneously through games.”

Purple Box is widely known for its Broadway Kids program.

“Our Broadway kids are learning a variety of songs and choreography from popular musicals, and they’re performing in theaters and at several area festivals and Fright Fest at Six Flags Fiesta Texas,” Holbrook said. “In the summer, they travel to Disney World or New York to perform and participate in workshops with industry professionals.”

Don Maines is a freelance writer who can be contacted at [email protected]