Shrek The Musical is a theater version of the 2001 CG comedy adventure Shrek . As with the movie, the play is about the ogre Shrek who lives a contented secluded life in a swamp, but his solitude is interrupted with an influx of fairytale creatures who have been evicted by Lord Farquad to transform his kingdom into his perfect image of a kingdom. When Shrek goes to confront Farquad (meeting Donkey, a talking donkey on the way) he is coerced into mounting a rescue mission of Princess Fiona from a dragon-guarded tower to bring her back to be Farquad’s bride.
In a recent essay for The New Yorker , Jill Lepore theorized that the continuing dominance of dystopian literature has to do with the lack of utopian books. Dystopia, after all, does not exist in a vacuum; the genre first arose to point out the flaws of downsides of the utopian societies imagined by Thomas More and Edward Bellamy . Most of the famous dystopian novels are critiquing a specific utopian ideal; for 1984 it’s Soviet Communism, and for The Handmaid’s Tale it’s the “Moral Majority” proclaimed by Reagan’s America. But without new utopian visions to replace them, we remain stuck in dystopias. Lepore writes, “Dystopia used to be a fiction of resistance; it’s become a fiction of submission, the fiction of an untrusting, lonely, and sullen twenty-first century, the fiction of fake news and Infowars, the fiction of helplessness and hopelessness. It cannot imagine a better future, and it doesn’t ask anyone to bother to make one.”