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Terrified children screamed and bolted at the sight of an ogre twice their size moving toward them, taking swipes at them with each stomp. They poured to the other side of the room trying to get out of his way.

The illusion was only shattered when Shrek, midway through his solo, turned to the accompanist and asked "Wait, are we singing the right thing?"

Pennsylvania Theatrical Arts is going green with two productions of "Shrek, the Musical" and "Peter Pan Jr." Both shows are being directed by the school owner Brittany Stevens.

The ensemble, featuring children as young as 5 to adults, shuffled to their marks at the beginning of rehearsal April 7.

"Little ones are to sit crisscross applesauce and there is to be no moving around," Stevens said to the brood during the final practice before dress rehearsals at Littlestown High School.

"The kids have it easy because they can keep it all straight better than I can," she said. These are to be the 11th and 12th productions respectively for the students of Pennsylvania Theatrical Arts.

LeAnna Baker, 11, said her ensemble part in "Shrek" was all well and good, but it was her solo as the character Tinkerbell in "Peter Pan Jr." that she was really looking forward to performing. She wants to be an actress or a singer when she grows up.

"I like when you get to be someone else on stage with all of your friends," Baker said. Her friends Alexis Knopp, 10, and Isabella Peli, 8, nodded in agreement.

"I don't want to be an actress though," Peli interjected. "Those kissing scenes just give me the creeps."

Knopp disagreed, citing the wedding scene at the end of "Shrek" as her favorite part to watch.

Parents worked on costumes and set pieces while the cast practiced in another room. Most of the shows are cobbled together by family of the performers at Pennsylvania Theatrical Arts.

Victor Sciukas, who has been working with the company since it began four years ago, said three generations of his family are involved in the productions. He plays even the father to a young Fiona, played by his granddaughter.

"It's a family affair," Sciukas said.

The best part of being involved in these shows is watching how the students grow as performers, he said.

"Kids when they are nervous always pull on their pockets," Sciukas said. "By the time we get to the performance, they don't even think about doing that anymore."

The performances are open to the public and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to Hanover Hospital.

If you go

WHAT: Shrek the Musical

WHEN: April 10 and 11 at 7 p.m.

WHERE: Littlestown Senior High School

HOW MUCH: Tickets cost $17 for adults and $12 for children. They are available for purchase at www.PATABS.com. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Hanover Hospital.

WHAT: Disney's Peter Pan Jr.

WHEN: April 17 at 7 p.m. and April 18 at 2 p.m.

WHERE: Littlestown Senior High School

HOW MUCH: Tickets cost $17 for adults and $12 for children. They are available for purchase at www.PATABS.com. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Hanover Hospital.

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