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