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Making a Difference with musical theater

SOUTH PORTLAND (WGME) -- It's almost impossible to count the number of shows directed by Steve and Jane Filieo at South Portland High School.

Rehearsals are well underway for this year's musical production, and it's all about the ogre we've fondly come to love and known as Shrek. "Shrek the Musical" represents a bit of a challenge on every level of music, acting and set design.

"There's a lot of material written for high schools.  We've never done a high school show.  We challenge them with classic Broadway musicals and they always rise to the occasion and far exceed our expectations, so that's what keeps us coming back for 25 years," said Director Steve Filieo.

Steve, along with this wife Jane, has been directing the musicals at South Portland High School for a quarter century. It's always been about teaching kids much more than just the shows themselves.

"Just in terms of building self confidence, integrating with other kids, socialization skills, so much more to it than just geting put on stage and having a good time.  That's what keeps bringing us back to see this wonderful stuff happening with these kids," said set builder Chuck Igo.

The kids keep coming, and they are left with a lasting imprint that comes from great mentors.

"I grew up watching the musicals here.  I could not wait to meet the Filieos and just coming here is just as amazing as people say it is.  They're just wonderful all around people.  They're great teachers and role models and I've learned so much from them," Said senior Kaylie Vezina.