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‘Shrek the Musical’ opens Thursday, April 27 at Chapel Hill High

For those who think “Shrek” is just about an ogre who saves a princess, Bram Raets says come see “Shrek the Musical” at Chapel Hill High this week.

“Especially today, kids struggle with who they are and their identity,” the 17-year-old senior says.

“When you have a story that says, ‘I am who I am and I don’t care what other people think,’ I feel like that’s supporting those who feel like they can’t express themselves or feel they can’t be who they want to be.”

Raets spends each performance in a DayGlo green mask and prosthetics that leave little room for facial expression. (“All my emotions are in my shoulders.”)

He says working on a play with fellow students for hours after school and on weekends has given him confidence to perform – he also sings acapella – and memories that will last forever.

“These group of people become your people,” he says. “For me, it’s a huge thing.”

The Chapel Hill High School Theater Department presents “Shrek the Musical” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, April 27-29, 2017, at the school’s Hanes Auditorium. Tickets at (recommended) or at the door, if available. $10 for adults and $5 for students