Seabreeze High School senior Hunter Nave had a chance of graduating early, but he decided to stay to leave a mark to be remembered for his high school career. And he found it.
Nave, an Ormond Beach resident, was cast as "Donkey" for Seabreeze High School American Muscial Theater's production of "Shrek: The Musical," written by David Lindsay-Abaire. He said he loved the role, as it was a lot of fun to "flaunt around in a donkey onesie."
“People actually pay to see that," Nave said. "I’m in heaven.”
He's not the only one that enjoyed participating in the play, which had been in the works since October. Senior Avery Heck played the role of "Fiona" in the musical.
"She’s kind of crazy," Heck said. "...It’s a lot of fun and I love this cast.”
Heck is planning on attending the Savannah College of Arts and Design to study film and television and minor in the performing arts.
She has been part of AMT for all four years of high school, and Nave has participated for two. AMT has had a presence in Seabreeze for at least 30 years. The production's director, Larry Schnabel, said the resurgence of the program is all due to choir teacher Julia Hood's involvement. Participation in the program had dipped before she got on board.
“It’s a slow growth process, obviously," Schnabel said. "The dedication of the children is what it’s all about.”
And dedication they have.
Junior Jackie Myers, who played Pinocchio, said a lot work was put in by the cast to put the show together.
“The audience only sees the finished project, but there’s so many long hours — so much rehearsing outside of school," Myers said. "From singing to dancing to acting, there’s just so much that goes in.”
AMT is a tight-knit group, she said, describing them as family.
Senior Destiny Harris said theater helps motivate her go to school every morning.
“You get to do what you love," Harris said.