From an audience member:
"WHAT THE SHREK DO WE CARE? A lot. Florence, Oregon, cares a lot about its kids and the arts. That's why Florence supports CROW, a local organization that invites kids to participate in the lively arts. CROW presented its annual musical April 15, 16, and 17 -- "Shrek The Musical Jr.: -- four jam-packed performances at the Florence Events Center, and it was a spectacular production -- inventive costumes, delightful sets, wondrous special effects such as the fabulous fire-breathing dragon, lively music, laughter, song, and dance, and a cast of 50-some enthusiastic children choreographed to perfection. It was a spectacular performance, eructations and Rat Pack Tappers notwithstanding. Congratulations to everyone involved including the talented cast and their extraordinary mentors, especially CROW director Melanie Heard who believes the arts matter and has instilled that belief in the youth of Florence."
From a C.R.O.W. mom:
"Melanie, I just wanted to say GREAT job in the directing of Shrek Jr. and thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving my children and granddaughter the experience of a lifetime. They were all AMAZING and the experience alone was such a great and memorable milestone of confidence that they all needed and deserved. You are such an AMAZING & big hearted beautiful soul and I admire you so much. Thank you for being you."
From an Audience Member:
"Bravo Melanie and the entire C.R.O.W crew. I have personally gone to every production since C.R.O.W started in our community. I'm in awe how year after year you put on a first class production. The amount of incredible talent in the cast, the costumes were so colorful and well done and the artwork in the sets and backdrops were amazing too. I loved how whimsical the script was and how much the audience reacted to the musical. Please extend our congratulations to your cast and crew for a top notch performance all the way around! Can't wait till the next production. They might need to expand the FEC!"
From one of C.R.O.W.'s volunteer production team members:
"I just needed to put my 2 cents worth in. The hard work and dedication I see in every single CROW kid, every crew member, every production team member and more than just a few parents (you know who you are!) just blows me away! Almost everyone does more than their share, stepping up to volunteer for more, trying to make things better for all. The communication and cooperation is so wonderful to see. People make an effort to get along, get things done, be nice and keep things peaceful for the greater good.
And the kids always amaze me with the way they all get along and support each other. The older ones taking care of the younger ones, taking the time to really listen and talk to them, and include them. It makes my heart sing and gives me hope for a future of caring, responsible, creative, productive, hard working, humble citizens.
#gocrowgo #crowkidsarethebest #ilovecrow #crowrocks"
From a Letter to the Editor:
"We in Florence are so fortunate-the Oregon Coast, our public library, City Lights Cinemas, and what may have started off as a diamond in the rough, Children's Repertory of Oregon Workshops (C.R.O.W.), now a certified gem. Their production of "Shrek"-last weekend was a sparkling, spectacular success. The audience applauded in unison. Way to go, C.R.O.W. and thank you." - Rae and Pat Stutzman, Florence
From the Dean of Lane Community College, Florence:
"Congratulations on another outstanding youth performance. Your young people performed very well and obviously loved being part of the show. The costumes, set and special effects were over the top. I especially liked the "water feature." It was obvious that you and your wonderful production team are instilling in these children a sense of pride in their work and discipline necessary for performing. That will stand them in good stead all their lives--and they will have terrific memories as a result of their experience. Thank you for being a wonderful part of the Florence community."
- MJ Kuhar, Dean of LCC, Florence
From an audience member:
"I took my 4 yr. old granddaughter to the show. Not sure if I had more fun watching her, as I did the show. We will be back to see more shows ! Great job!!"
From a parent of one of our kids:
"As a parent, who has been involved with children's theatre for twelve years, I recognize the many benefits of a well-organized and produced theatrical production. I watch children learn, grow, laugh, struggle, encourage one another, and work together. They become part of a magical creation which in turn becomes part of their own life's story.
I am deeply grateful that (my children) and all the children involved had this incredible opportunity. In addition, many parents enjoy new friendships, and an expanded sense of community. I know performing arts offer nourishment for our soul as well as a connection to one another through shared experience.
When I was preparing to move to Florence from Portland, I recall people saying, "your kids won't have any opportunity in a small town." Thank you for opening nights and opening doors."
From a local elementary school teacher:
"Again I want to tell you what an amazing show "The Music Man Jr." was. I loved every minute of it and didn't want it to end. Congratulations to you and all the cast and crew. I feel sad for anyone who didn't get to see it.
Thank you also for not only giving our students the opportunity to be involved with such an amazing production, but also for inviting the Elementary Students to see it. After yesterday at school, I knew I needed to write to you. I was walking down the 4th grade hall near the end of school and heard a group of fourth graders (not cast members) singing "Shipoopi" and just minutes later in the breezeway followed some elementary boys (not cast members) singing "Gary, Indiana!" It touched me that they were taken by the show as well, and thought you might like to know the incredible impact you had."
From a "Letter to the Editor":
"Florence was treated to a spectacular show at the Florence Events Center when C.R.O.W. (Children's Repertory of Oregon Workshops) presented "The Music Man Jr." Meredith Willson's iconic musical especially geared for youngsters. Directed by the incomparable Melanie Heard, Florence's kids did the show proud, singing, dancing, and acting with dazzling exuberance, all within two hours. Egads! There's so much more to say, such as the delightful, colorful costumes of early 20th century Iowa and the wonderful painted sets...At Intermission, members of the Siuslaw High School band played lively tunes from the show, while theatregoers enjoyed ice cream sundaes. Suffice it to say, there was no trouble in River City. Florence kids triumphed with spot-on performnaces thanks to the stunning expertise of Melanie and her accomplished associates, and everyone had a good time. Shipoopi!" - J.B. Thomas