San Francisco in Photos: Backstage with Shrek

Oh, those warts on his face? Tiny radio transmitters!

Shrek the Musical, Eric Petersen, Orpheum Theatre San Francisco

The transformation involves paint, makeup, various fittings, a fat suit, and lots of skill! Total time to Shrek = 2 hours.

What does it take to transform the world’s most lovable (if not slightly grumpy) green Ogre from the animated version we’ve all seen on screen, to the live one now seen at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco?

For starters, it takes a lot of green paint!

It also takes a highly skilled team over two hours before every performance to apply that DreamWorks magic to actor Eric Petersen who plays Shrek in the new musical.

Glue, fabricated parts, makeup, a fat suit, and plenty of good ol’ Christmas cheer are all part of the dressing room frenzy that you can see in these photos, taken during a backstage shoot for an upcoming Stark Insider TV segment.

Air holes allow Petersen to breathe in a costume that weighs 45 pounds. Oh, those warts on his face? Tiny radio transmitters used to broadcast his voice. Sometimes a swamp can be a pretty technologically advanced place!

The team in action.
The team in action.
The finished product: Eric Petersen as Shrek. Photo by Joan Marcus.
The finished product: Eric Petersen as Shrek. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Shrek's hands... a nearby fan is used to keep them dry, kind of like hockey gloves!
Shrek's hands... a nearby fan is used to keep them dry, kind of like hockey gloves!
It's not easy being green. The makeup effects are film caliber.
It's not easy being green. The makeup effects are film caliber.
 It takes 2 hours before every performance to transform actor Eric Petersen into the real life version of everyone's favorite Ogre.
It takes 2 hours before every performance to transform actor Eric Petersen into the real life version of everyone's favorite Ogre.
Eric Petersen's dressing room at the Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco.
Eric Petersen's dressing room at the Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco.
It's in the eyes.
It's in the eyes.
Shrek the Musical - touring Broadway production is now in town.
Shrek the Musical - touring Broadway production is now in town.
Eric Petersen, Alan Mingo, Jr. and Haven Burton  Photo by Joan Marcus
Eric Petersen, Alan Mingo, Jr. and Haven Burton Photo by Joan Marcus

(with Clinton Stark and Loni Kao contributing from San Francisco)

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