Skip to main content

Director of North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts' 2017 Summer Production of 'Shrek' Tells All

Jul 25, 2017 05:02PM, Published by Melanie Heisinger, Categories: Life+Leisure


Gallery: Shrek [27 Images] Click any image to expand.



The North Fort Myers Academy of the Arts started a theatre summer camp 4 years ago. This camp takes on the task of creating a full musical production in the matter of 18 days. With a crew of 15 kids, and a cast of about 40, this is no easy feat. 

This season they put on "Shrek the Musical."

We got in touch with the director and production manager of the show Amy Massari to learn more about the making of this show.

Massari has been directing this summer series since its inception 4 years prior. She remembers their first show, Suessical the Musical, with vivid memory and reflected that Shrek was on par with that first performance. 

Since then, the program has greatly improved and expanded. Now, the program performs 3 separate show as opposed to just one. 

Massari has been in the theatre industry for over 28 years, adding knowledge and experience to the program. She has worked for the Florida Repertory Theater as a director for over 8 years, opened and ran her own Mount Shasta Repertory Theater when her and her husband, Michael Massari, lived in California, among other notable things. 

Also, she has been the director since the beginning of the summer program since its inception 4 years ago, and she hopes to continue to make an impact in the theatre community in Lee County schools.

Her husband was also a contributor to the show building elaborate sets for the Shrek performance. He is also a theatre professional and added that much more to the integrity of the production. 

Massari described her love for theatre, especially for children, stating that theatre provides "real choices in an imaginary situation." There is something special about putting on that costume and becoming another character, Massari noted. Once in front of the audience, the audience is then an additional cast member; they bring forth their energy and it's reciprocated by those performing.


With Shrek, it was a big hit within the community and surroudning summer camps, that always visit to see the production. North Fort Myers Academy of the Arts Principal Tom Millons wasn't able to attend, he was actually busy accepting a prestigious arts academy award, but he told Massari that his phone started lighting up after the first performance of Shrek. Those that had had the opportunity to see the production couldn't help but tell him how outstanding it was.  

One of the most memorable moments for Massari was seeing a young actor who had previously taken a lot of direction and was having trouble processing it all. Massari remembers seeing that moment when the light bulb suddenly switched on for them, and then seeing their gratification with it all. She remembers that all of it happened in front of the audience, and seeing reaction was incredibly meaningful to both her and the young actor.

Since starting the camp 4 years ago, there have been plenty of both new members as well as repeating members. Children from 3rd grade through high school are accepted into the program, though typically the high schoolers are counselors for the camp.

Shrek was the ideal production because there are so many roles where people get to have their own moment, which is always great with a large group. Also, another local high school had performed it a few years ago, so they were able to borrow costumes and alter them, as opposed to starting from scratch, which is a major bonus for such a short program.

There was a great team behind Massari to make this summer program possible, something that she wanted to make sure was noted. Her husband Michael "is an amazing builder and set designer and technical director." She also thanked Angel Dobson, the production's music director, who is an "amazing coordinator."

Director Amy Massari's children,
Caleb and Jesse.

 The cast's choreographer, Tracy, also got a big thank you. She worked with Massari's daughter, Jesse, who will be junior in high school. Jesse was Tracy's assistant choreographer, and actually choreographed a few numbers on her own. Massari vividly remembers a touching moment when Tracy reached out to her saying that she "realized she didn't have an assistant, she had a partner." 

Caleb, Massari's son, ended up playing Donkey and she thoroughly enjoyed seeing him transform into his character, as he is usually more sports-oriented. She wanted to note that the organizers of the show had children in the production, and there is a very strict rule in place where they were barred from casting their own kid, and no there is no disputing allowed. 

Massari hopes to eventually do things throughout the school year as guest artist, to continue with the development of academic youth theatre in the area. Her goal is to encourage sharing more resources within schools, but that's all in the future for now. 

"Theatre and the arts are invaluable to development," Massari told us. "I don't expect all students to grow up to go into acting, though some very well could, but it to gives them such a strong foundation to do whatever they want."  


Keep up with the North Fort Myers Academy of the Arts' next production, "The Lion King," which will be a school production with the school's director and drama teacher Kim Smith. 


Community


  • Sunday Farmers Market

    08/20/2017
    08:30AM — 01:00PM

    Meet in the Historic Settlement of Koreshan State Historic Site at our quaint market EVERY SUNDAY...


  • History Park Farmers and Artisans Market

    08/20/2017
    09:00AM — 02:00PM

    Operated by Punta Gorda Historical Society, produce, meat, fish and additional food items, plus m...


  • FineMark Exhibtion of FGCU Art Alumni

    08/20/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    From July 10 - September 29, 2017, Finemark National Bank and Trust will be displaying the work o...


  • Explore the Koreshan Unity Settlement Historic District, listed on the National Register of Histo...


  • Family Day at Millennial Brewing

    08/20/2017
    12:00PM — 05:00PM

    We have the perfect place to grab some food and a drink while the kids play, meet new friends, an...


  • Wisdom in Motion with Susi

    08/20/2017
    04:00PM — 05:30PM

    Dance exercise lifts the spirit, frees the mind, reduces stress and supports weight management an...


  • FMDG vs Dub City

    08/20/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Only TWO more games left this season! Don't miss out! Your Fort Myers Derby Girls are battling it...


  • Triathlon Swim Program

    08/21/2017
    07:00AM — 08:30AM

    Calling all Sanibel Triathletes! Are you training for an upcoming triathlon and would like to imp...


  • FineMark Exhibtion of FGCU Art Alumni

    08/21/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    From July 10 - September 29, 2017, Finemark National Bank and Trust will be displaying the work o...


  • Sanibel Shell Crafters

    08/21/2017
    10:00AM — 03:00PM

    Visit The Sanibel Shell Crafters every Monday all year long from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. to watch this d...


  • Mangrove Maze Eco-Tour

    08/21/2017
    10:00AM

    Guided exploration of the mangrove wilderness on part of the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail....


  • Surrealist Summer Exhibit

    08/21/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    August 4 - 25, 2017 What is real? What is imaginary? This exhibition aims to merge the two. Su...


  • Observing the eclipse in front of the planetarium with the CNCP Coronado Solar Telescope. Your ho...


  • Observing the eclipse in front of the planetarium with the CNCP Coronado Solar Telescope. Your ho...


  • Sunset Kayak Eco-Tour

    08/21/2017
    03:30PM

    Paddle Matlacha Pass meandering through mangrove shrouded trails. Guides are ACA Certified Kayak ...


  • Surrealist Summer August 4 - 25, 2017 Opening Reception: Friday, August 4, 2017, 6pm-8pm Cente...


  • Complete original art while enjoying friends, music and favorite beverages. Materials provided, o...


  • Ballroom Dancing

    08/21/2017
    06:30PM — 09:30PM

    USA Dance offers beginning Ballroom Dance Lessons and a Social Dance on Monday nights. The lesson...


  • Caloosahatchee Sunset Cruise

    08/21/2017
    07:00PM

    Relaxing environment as the sun is setting, the shoreline and river elements taking on a differen...


  • Woody Brubaker

    08/25/2017
    12:00AM

    Woody Brubaker has spent an astounding and productive fifty-seven years in the music business. An...


  • FineMark Exhibtion of FGCU Art Alumni

    08/25/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    From July 10 - September 29, 2017, Finemark National Bank and Trust will be displaying the work o...


  • Stress Less Friday with Heather and Anna

    08/25/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    Give yourself one whole day to focus on slowing down and being mindful, grateful, and full of opt...


  • Open Painting at The Paint Escape

    08/25/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Ceramic painting for children and adults, create a decorative item. Friday night offers ladie...


  • Mangrove Maze Eco-Tour

    08/25/2017
    10:00AM

    Guided exploration of the mangrove wilderness on part of the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail....


  • Surrealist Summer Exhibit

    08/25/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    August 4 - 25, 2017 What is real? What is imaginary? This exhibition aims to merge the two. Su...


  • Sunset Kayak Eco-Tour

    08/25/2017
    03:30PM

    Paddle Matlacha Pass meandering through mangrove shrouded trails. Guides are ACA Certified Kayak ...


  • Sunset Celebration at Times Square

    08/25/2017
    05:00PM — 10:00PM

    Live Music, Food and Fun at Time Square on Fort Myers Beach


  • Ladies' Night at The Paint Escape

    08/25/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Ceramic painting for children and adults, create a decorative item. Friday night offers ladie...


  • Caloosahatchee Sunset Cruise

    08/25/2017
    07:00PM

    Relaxing environment as the sun is setting, the shoreline and river elements taking on a differen...


  • Summer Singer Songwriter Competition

    08/25/2017
    07:30PM — 10:30PM

    The Singer Songwriter Competition is the last date in the Sounds of Summer Concert Series by Isla...


  • Three Crooked Steps

    08/25/2017
    08:30PM — 11:30PM

    Three Crooked Steps is a SWF three piece versatile band playing music you simply cannot mistake f...


  • FMDG vs Dub City

    08/20/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Only TWO more games left this season! Don't miss out! Your Fort Myers Derby Girls are battling it...


  • Observing the eclipse in front of the planetarium with the CNCP Coronado Solar Telescope. Your ho...


Proudly Brought To You By These Community Sponsors