Rope Bridge: The reveal of the rope bridge to the castle is a great piece of design & engineering which has to be seen to be believed.
Dragon: Most memorable is the flying dragon (see photos below). This uses a control system by Fisher Technical Services Inc, with three sets of cables (six Tait 515 winches, using Tait Navigator software) controlling the dragon’s position above the amazed audience. One cable drops/lifts the dragon into it’s lair at the very top of the theatre. In the Theatre Royal Drury Lane (London) production, the dragon was hidden behind a black curtain for most of the show, but can be seen by the audience seated in the balcony level when the black curtain is pulled back in preparation for the flight. The two other cables are connected to the top of the proscenium arch stage left and right. In combination, these three lifting points allow the dragon to be almost anywhere in the auditorium, and even allow it to land onstage (to incinerate Lord Farquaad). An additional motor built into the dragon puppet allows precisely controllable rotation. The effect is stunning. Tait website with more details about the Dragon
The sun / moon that is so important to Shrek and Fiona is a giant LED video screen that moves across the upstage back wall to denote time of day.
Lighting (London 2011-2013)
Lighting control used a GrandMA console, with a Hippotizer media server running video.
Moving lights are predominantly Vari*Lites.
A Soundcraft-Studer Vista 5SR sound desk is used front-of-house (at the rear of the stalls).
A (relatively) small video wall is used upstage of the cyclorama to achieve sun and moon effects. The video wall is rigged from a pair of automated trusses which can track it horizonally and vertically to allow the sun / moon to rise & set to trigger Princess Fiona to transform into her night-time ogre.
Design: Sets & Lighting for the Broadway Production
(The London production and tour is missing many of these elements)