Shrek The Musical TYA
Everyone's favorite ogre is back in this hilarious stage spectacle, based on the Oscar-winning, smash-hit film.
Only available to schools following the national curriculum who are performing on their own school premises (unfortunately we cannot license stage schools / youth groups / amateur societies at this time).
Show Essentials

Full Synopsis

The curtain opens on a trio of Storytellers sharing the tale of a little ogre named Shrek. Papa and Mama Ogre sit Shrek down and have a coming-of-age talk with their son, telling him that, since he is now seven years old, it is time for him to make his own place in the world, and he must leave home ("Big Bright Beautiful World"). As the years pass, Shrek transforms into an adult and finds contentment living alone in a swamp on the edge of the kingdom of Duloc. Suddenly, the Captain of the Guards appears, leading a large group of Fairy Tale Creatures into the swamp, including Pinocchio, the Big Bad Wolf, the Three Little Pigs, the Wicked Witch, Peter Pan, the Ugly Duckling and the Three Bears. The characters have been exiled from the kingdom of Duloc and banished to live in the swamp ("Story of My Life"). Shrek returns home to find his once private swamp now teeming with the new inhabitants and angrily sets off to confront the leader of Duloc about the injustice.

As Shrek makes his way through a dense forest, he encounters a screaming Donkey under pursuit by more Guards from Duloc. Shrek scares off the guards and, having lost his way (and despite his better judgment), reluctantly agrees to let Donkey be his guide. Meanwhile, in Duloc, the Guards sing of the "gentrification" of the kingdom ("What's Up, Duloc? – Part 1"). Lord Farquadd appears, questioning the captive Gingy as to the whereabouts of an available princess that Farquaad could marry in order to become king and justly gain control of all of Duloc. Threatened with torture, Gingy relinquishes the information – there is a princess in a tower that is guarded by a dragon and surrounded by boiling-hot lava. Just as Farquaad and the residents of Duloc begin to celebrate their future queen ("What's Up, Duloc? – Part 2"), Shrek and Donkey arrive. Shrek demands the swamp be rightfully returned to him and, seizing an opportunity, Farquaad agrees to find a new home for the Fairy Tale Creatures if Shrek retrieves the princess for him.

High in her tower, Young Fiona dreams of being rescued by a handsome prince and living the idyllic fairy tale dream ("I Know It's Today"). The years pass, and Fiona grows more anxious day after day, nervous that the stories she's read have misled her. Despite her frustrations, she remains hopeful.

Meanwhile, Donkey passes time on the long journey by singing ("Travel Song"). Shrek and Donkey arrive at the castle and, donning a knight's helmet that he finds in the castle for protection, Shrek tells Donkey to wait while he rescues the princess. Shrek climbs Fiona's tower while she excitedly prepares for the arrival of her prince. The meeting doesn't go quite as Fiona had planned, and she mistakes Shrek for a brave knight because of his helmet. Shrek doesn't have time to correct this oversight as Donkey is now being pursued by the Dragon. Cornered in the dungeon, four imprisoned Knights warn Donkey that he may wind up like them. The Dragon, frustrated that no one ever pursues her, sings of her loneliness ("Forever"). Falling madly in love with Donkey, the Dragon spares his life, but attacks Shrek when she sees he's freed Fiona. The two battle, and Fiona finally gets her storybook adventure ("This Is How a Dream Comes True").

Having escaped the dragon, the group sets off for Duloc. Shrek reveals to Fiona that he is actually an ogre and has rescued her for Lord Farquaad. As the sun sets, Fiona demands to set up camp and disappears into a cave for the duration of the night. The Storytellers reveal that Fiona has been placed under a curse causing her to live "by day one way, by night another."

The next morning, Fiona is chipper and highly caffeinated ("Morning Person"). She greets the woodland creatures, including the Pied Piper and his disorderly Rats, with cheerful optimism. The group continues their journey, and Shrek and Fiona bond over their horrible lives thus far ("I Think I Got You Beat"). The song ends in a gassy display of bravado, and the two become friends. Donkey is convinced that their relationship is actually a budding romance ("Make a Move").

Having reached Duloc, Fiona postpones meeting Lord Farquaad for one more night and retires to a nearby barn to sleep as the sun sets. That night, Donkey stumbles into the barn and discovers Fiona's secret – she has transformed into an ogress. Fiona explains that she has been cursed to live by day as a human, by night as an ogre, and sees Lord Farquaad as her only chance for happiness because no one could ever love an ugly ogre. Shrek, who has worked up the courage to tell Fiona how he feels about her, overhears only the last part of Fiona's conversation with Donkey from outside the barn, and thinks she is talking about him.

The next morning, Shrek admits to Fiona that he heard everything she said. Fiona now thinks that he knows her secret and is unable to love her because of it. Just then, Lord Farquaad arrives to claim Fiona. He hands over the deed to Shrek's swamp and makes plans to marry Fiona that night. Hurt, Fiona accepts and leaves with him. The Fairy Tale Creatures drudge on, having been evicted from the swamp. Donkey pleads with Shrek to try to win back Fiona, and the Fairy Tale Creatures agree that he must be proud of who he is rather than ashamed by it ("Freak Flag"). With a sense of empowerment and a plan of action, the group decides to return to Duloc.

Just as the Bishop is about to marry Fiona and Lord Farquaad, Shrek and the Fairy Tale Creatures burst in. Shrek professes his love for Fiona ("Big Bright Beautiful World – Reprise"), and the Fairy Tale Creatures reveal that Lord Farquaad's father is a grumpy Dwarf. The discovery that Farquaad is actually a "freak," like the Fairy Tale Creatures he condemned, shocks and surprises everyone. During this, the sun has gone down and Fiona has transformed into an ogress. Disgusted, Lord Farquaad claims that the marriage is binding – he is now king and shall lock Fiona back in the tower forever to rule Duloc himself. Just then, the Dragon crashes through the castle wall and heaves a fiery breath at Farquaad. Afterward, all that's left of him is his scorched crown. Shrek and Fiona finally share "true love's kiss" and, although the spell is broken, Fiona doesn't turn back into a human. Shrek convinces her that she is beautiful just as she is, and everyone celebrates their individuality ("Finale").

← Back to Shrek The Musical TYA
Cast Size: Medium (11 to 20 performers)
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Our story's title character. A big, green, terrifying ogre who lives alone on a swamp. He embarks on a journey to rid his land of fairytale creatures and, along the way, falls in love with Fiona. Begins as a grumpy hermit, but reveals his layers and eventually becomes the hero.
Gender: male
Age: 25 to 45
Vocal range top: G#4
Vocal range bottom: A2
Princess Fiona
The beautiful princess of Far Far Away, she transforms into an ogre every night when the sun sets. Rescued by Shrek and eventually falls in love with him. Quirky, blunt, and multitalented, she is not an ordinary princess.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: G6
Vocal range bottom: F3
A talking donkey who joins Shrek on the run from Farquaad's guards. Quite the chatterbox, he is not deterred by Shrek's looks and practically forces himself into his good graces. Easily frightened and pushy, but also an optimistic with heart.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 35
Vocal range top: B4
Vocal range bottom: C3
Lord Farquaad
The comically short, ruthless ruler of Duloc. He is in search of a princes to marry so that he can become king. Has an intensely unfair bias against fairytale creatures that stems from a resentment of his father. Self-absorbed, lonely, and cruel. Doubles as GUARD in swamp and KNIGHT in "Forever".
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 45
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: B2
A dragon that has been charged with guarding Princess Fiona in her isolated castle. She eventually falls in love with Donkey and attempts to keep him there forever. Imposing and flirtatious, but tired of her job as the glorified baby-sitter. Doubles as MAMA BEAR and DULOC PERFORMER
Gender: female
Age: 25 to 45
Vocal range top: Eb5
Vocal range bottom: F3
A gingerbread man initially kidnapped by Lord Farquaad. His wit and resolution help him both avoid trouble and inspire the rest of the fairytale creatures. Puppet. Doubles as WICKED WITCH and BLUEBIRD.
Gender: female
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: C#5
Vocal range bottom: B3
The leader of the fairytale creatures. He is an animated puppet whose nose grows every time he lies. Plenty of sass with a penchant for lying. Doubles as DULOC PERFORMER and KNIGHT in "Forever".
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: F#4
Vocal range bottom: E3
Famous adversary of Little Red Riding Hood. Doubles as THELONIUS, DULOC PERFORMER, KNIGHT in "Forever", BISHOP, GRUMPY DWARF.
Gender: male
Age: 20 to 40
Vocal range top: F#4
Vocal range bottom: E3
Fairytale Creatures (Big Bad Wolf, Three Little Pigs, White Rabbit, Fairy Godmother, Peter Pan, Wicked Witch, Ugly Duckling, Three Bears, Mad Hatter, Humpty Dumpty, Elf, Dwarf, Three Blind Mice); Angry Mob; Happy People; Guards; Knights; Rats
Young Company 1
Pig #1, Duloc Performer, Spinning Antelope (A La Lion King)
Gender: any
Age: 8 to 18
Young Company 2
Pig #2, Duloc Performer
Gender: any
Age: 8 to 18
Young Company 3
Pig #3, Duloc Performer
Gender: any
Age: 8 to 18
Young Company 4
Peter Pan, Duloc Performer, Teen Fiona
Gender: female
Age: 12 to 18
Young Company 5
Ugly Duckling, Duloc Performer, Knight
Gender: any
Age: 8 to 18
Young Company 6
Baby Bear, Duloc Performer, Young Fiona
Gender: female
Age: 7 to 12
Full Song List
Shrek The Musical TYA: Big Bright Beautiful World
Shrek The Musical TYA: Story of My Life
Shrek The Musical TYA: What's Up, Duloc?
Shrek The Musical TYA: I Know It's Today
Shrek The Musical TYA: Travel Song
Shrek The Musical TYA: Forever
Shrek The Musical TYA: This is How a Dream Comes True
Shrek The Musical TYA: Morning Person
Shrek The Musical TYA: I Think I Got You Beat
Shrek The Musical TYA: Make a Move
Shrek The Musical TYA: Morning Person (Reprise)
Shrek The Musical TYA: Freak Flag
Shrek The Musical TYA: This is Our Story

Show History


Shrek The Musical is based on the Oscar-winning animated DreamWorks film, Shrek, which was released in 2001, featuring an all-star cast that included Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and John Lithgow. The original film was so successful that it led to a series of sequels: Shrek 2, Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After. Both the movie and the musical draw from William Steig's picture book, Shrek!


Shrek The Musical held an out-of-town tryout at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle from August 14, 2008, to September 21, 2008.

It began previews at The Broadway Theatre on November 8, 2008, and opened on December 14, 2008. Directed by Jason Moore and choreographed by Josh Prince, the production featured Brian d'Arcy James, Sutton Foster, Christopher Sieber, John Tartaglia and Daniel Breaker.

Shrek The Musical closed January 3, 2010, after 441 performances, 37 previews, and a twelve-month Broadway run. It then went on to have several national tours, as well as being frequently licensed in regional markets.

Following the Broadway production, Shrek The Musical premiered in the West End at the Drury Lane Theatre, where it ran from 2011 to 2013. It began its first UK National tour in 2014 and has gone on to be produced in many other countries internationally.

Cultural Influence

  • A High Definition filming of the Broadway production was released on DVD, Blu-ray and digital download on October 15, 2013, in North America and December 2 in the UK.
  • Broadway luminary, Sutton Foster, earned her fourth Tony Award-nomination for her performance as Princess Fiona.
  • Shrek The Musical marked the first Broadway venture for DreamWorks Theatricals, a stage-oriented arm of the company that made the animated film.


  • Shrek The Musical was nominated for eight Tony Awards, twelve Drama Desk Awards, and a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album.
  • Broadway legend Julie Andrews, who played Queen Lillian in Shrek 2, Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After provided the voice for the audio instructions before each Broadway performance, reminding audience members to turn off their cell phones and unwrap their candies.
  • The song "Donkey Pot Pie" (which is included on the show's cast recording) was later replaced by "Forever" for the national tour and all subsequent productions.
  • The original production cost 24 million dollars, which meant that, at the time, it was the most expensive musical to open on Broadway.

Critical Reaction

"This collaboration of David Lindsay-Abaire and Jeanine Tesori delivers a funny, lively fairy tale about a misanthropic outsider and a princess with a dark secret."
– Hartford Courant

"A fun, largely successful musical version of the first installment of the hugely successful film franchise."
– Hollywood Reporter

"It looks like a big, fat hit."
– USA Today



Based on the DreamWorks Animation Motion Picture and the book by William Steig.


Under the terms and conditions of your organisation’s Performance Agreement, the following credits must appear on all advertising (including websites) relating to the production. Credits must be reproduced faithfully in accordance with the following layout. No alterations or deletions can be permitted unless stated below.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.

Licensee shall incorporate the following credits and comply with all size and other restrictions on the title page of all playbills and programs, and in all houseboards, displays and in all other advertising, press release and any other promotional material, except as otherwise provided below, as follows:


Based on the Dreamworks Animation Motion Picture and the book by William Steig (15%)
Book and Lyrics by
Music by
David Lindsay-Abaire
Jeanine Tesori  50% 
Originally produced on Broadway by
DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Productions 45%

Jason Moore and Rob Ashford (the “Broadway Director”) shall receive billing, unless waived in writing by Broadway Director, wherever the director of such production receives credit, directly above or below the other director’s credit (as determined by producer) in a size no less than the size of the billing to be accorded the director of such production.  Broadway Director’s billing shall read as follows: ‘Original Broadway Production Directed by Jason Moore and Rob Ashford’.


In addition, the following biographies of the Authors and the Broadway Director must appear in all programs of the Play:

DAVID LINDSAY-ABAIRE (Book & Lyrics) was most recently nominated for two Tony Awards for his work on Shrek The Musical: Best Book of a Musical and Best Score (with composer Jeanine Tesori). Prior to that he was awarded the 2008 Ed Kleban Award as America’s most promising musical theatre lyricist and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Rabbit Hole, which premiered on Broadway at MTC’s Biltmore Theatre. Rabbit Hole also received five Tony Award nominations, including Best Play, and the Spirit of America Award. His other shows include Fuddy MeersKimberly AkimboWonder of the WorldHigh Fidelity and A Devil Inside, among others. In addition to his work in theatre, David’s screen adaptation of Rabbit Hole just finished shooting. It stars Nicole Kidman and is directed by John Cameron Mitchell. David is a proud New Dramatists alum, a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Juilliard School, as well as a member of the WGA and the Dramatists Guild Council.

JEANINE TESORI (Music) has written three Tony-nominated scores for Broadway: Twelfth Night (Lincoln Center); Thoroughly Modern Millie (lyrics, Dick Scanlan); and Caroline, or
(lyrics, Tony Kushner; director, George C. Wolfe). The National Theatre production of Caroline, or Change in London received the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Her first musical, Violet, written with Brian Crawley, received the NY Drama Critics Circle Award. She has received Drama Desk and Obie Awards, and was cited by ASCAP as the first woman composer to have “two new musicals running concurrently on Broadway.” She composed the music for the New York Shakespeare Festival’s Mother Courage, directed by George C. Wolfe and translated by Tony Kushner. Film scores include Nights in Rodanthe, Winds of Change, Show Business and Wrestling With Angels. She composed songs for the movie Shrek the Third and for the Disney DVD releases Mulan II, Lilo and Stitch II and The Little Mermaid III. Ms. Tesori is a member of the Dramatists Guild. She is a graduate of Barnard College and lives in Manhattan with her husband, Michael Rafter, and daughter, Siena.

JASON MOORE (Broadway Director). Broadway: Avenue Q, Steel Magnolias. Carnegie Hall: Jerry Springer: The Opera. Off-Broadway: Speech and Debate (Roundabout), Avenue Q (the Vineyard), Guardians (the Culture Project), The Crumple Zone. Associate directing: Les Misérables (Broadway, national tour), Ragtime (Vancouver). Writer: The Floatplane Notebooks (Charlotte Repertory Theatre). TV directing: episodes of “Dawson’s Creek,” “Everwood,” “One Tree Hill” and “Brothers and Sisters.” Jason has a BS in performance studies from Northwestern University.  

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