La Jollan to play Fiona in ‘Shrek The Musical’

If you go:

■ What: California Youth Conservatory’s ‘Shrek The Musical’

■ Where: Lyceum Theater, 79 Horton Plaza, downtown San Diego

■ When: Matinees weekends, nightly shows Nov. 23-Dec. 1

■ Tickets: From $28

■ Website:


By Ashley Mackin

La Jolla High School senior Lindsey Young will take on the role of Princess Fiona in the California Youth Conservatory production of “Shrek The Musical,” at the Lyceum Theater downtown.

While the show is based on the 2001 animated film, Lindsey said fans of the story will find that theater-going is completely different from movie-going.

“Movies try to make (the story) their own and with live theater, it’s a lot more interactive with the audience — so I prefer live theater,” said Lindsey, the daughter of Lori and Tom Young of La Jolla.

She also said the live production brings a human element to the characters not found in digital animation. “Our Shrek is a real person with prosthetics,” she explained. “Our Lord Farquaad has to do the whole play on his knees. He has knee guards and a cape to cover the back of his legs and fake legs in front” — a comical visual.

Additionally, Lindsey said the music changes how audiences see the characters.

“The songs add something to the play,” she said. “They bring out something in the character that you don’t see in the movie.”

However, she does have an appreciation for the fact that several films are being adapted into plays, and the other way around. She said when plays — like “Shrek The Musical” — originate as a film, there’s an established fan base and because people already know and love the story, it opens them up to the possibility of seeing the production performed in a new way.

She hopes the same thing happens with the film adaptation of “Les Misérables.” Garnering popularity and awards as a musical film adaptation in 2012, Lindsey hopes that people who saw the film and liked it will be more drawn to a live theater production — especially if she is in it.

Lindsey had an ensemble role in the CYC production of “Les Misérables,” but Fiona is her first lead role.

“Fiona is just such a loving, crazy person and I connect with her a lot. She’s developing herself because she is experiencing the world and love for the first time. I can connect with that because I, too, am finding out who I am,” Lindsey said. “I am so excited to play her.”

She is also excited to play the role because it is kid-friendly. Having been a babysitter for several years, Lindsey said she looks forward to having the children she watched come to watch her perform.

In addition to babysitting, Lindsey mentors other child actors through her involvement with the Young Actors Theater, under the direction of Deidre Andrews. Lindsey started as Andrews’s student, but has since become one of her assistants.

“Lindsey has mentored many young actors in the past four summers, helping them develop acting skills and a love of theater,” Andrews said. “She coaches them individually and in groups ... assisting them with development of their characters, physical expression, vocal accents and projection. Lindsey herself is a very talented actress with a wonderful sense of comedy and commitment to the roles she plays.”

Being a good mentor is important to Lindsey, who, though in the early stages of her acting career, has some advice for aspiring actors. Namely, to not take it personally when they don’t get the parts for which they audition. “I like to think of it as, ‘it just wasn’t meant to be.’ If I go to an audition and don’t get a call back, I don’t think that I’m a terrible actor, I think maybe this show wasn’t for me. And I go and audition for another show. It’s just how you think about it,” she said.

That attitude, Andrews assured, will help Lindsey go far. “I do believe that Lindsey has a future in theater, both as an actress and as a director,” she said. “She has both talent and dedication.”