Applied Learning Academy eighth-grader Charles Barrow, 14, showcased his theatrical charisma on stage during his performance as the mean, green ogre Shrek

The student-led play was the culmination of a school year’s worth of “cutting corners and stress.” His favorite part of performing was the singing, he said.

“It was a lot of work,” Barrow said. “It’s a lot of fun.”

Alongside his co-star Patricia Tennison, who played Donkey, the duo cracked the crowd up and impressed with vocal and choreographed performances.

“Patricia’s awesome. It’s hard not to break out laughing with her backstage because she’s just so hilarious,” Barrow said.

The school play, based on the 2001 Academy Award-winning animated film Shrek, featured beloved characters like Pinocchio, the Big Bad Wolf, the Three Little Pigs and even a very brief cameo from the en-garde cat Puss in Boots.

Students were in charge of costumes, choreography, lighting, stage design, audio and backstage duties.

The play was part of the Applied Learning Academy’s AdvisoCon 2022, a day of showcases and learning sessions. One panel taught students how to become involved in the school yearbook team. Another taught computer science and, across the hall, a teacher taught culinary skills.

The building formerly housed Rosemont 6th Grade Center, but the Applied Learning Academy took over a year ago. Now, the school teaches sixth through eighth grade.

Cristian ArguetaSoto is the community engagement journalist at the Fort Worth Report. Contact him by email or via Twitter. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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Cristian ArguetaSotoCommunity Engagement Journalist

Cristian is a May 2021 graduate of Texas Christian University. At TCU, ArguetaSoto served as staff photographer at TCU360 and later as its visual editor, overseeing other photojournalists. A Fort Worth...