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NFC community theatre: Local talent, community partnership makes North Florida College Sentinel Upstage Players shine bright

North Florida College


The North Florida College (NFC) community theatre troupe, the Sentinel Upstage Players, have formed a strong partnership with the NFC campus and community. The college's fall and spring term musical productions have grown tremendously over the last few years, featuring large casts of local stars. A mix of NFC students and employees, area children and members of the community come out to auditions and work together to bring a wide variety of characters and story lines to life on NFC's Van H. Priest Auditorium stage.

In October, the Sentinel Upstage Players' production of "Something Wicked This Way Sings," a spooky journey through some of history’s all-time best Halloween songs and movies delighted audience members and brought standing ovations. Co-written by NFC employees Denise Bell and Della Webb, the play was a true testament that the performing arts are alive and strong in our community.

"I think theatre is such an important opportunity for developing creativity and self-confidence, and I'm so happy that there is a community theatre group here that offers this experience to children and adults, and welcomes everyone with open arms," said Chrystal Furst of Suwannee County. "I really feel like I've found a second family with this wonderful and talented group, and I can't wait to perform with them again." Furst played Mary Sanderson (Sanderson Sisters) in the October production and is a long-time member of the NFC Sentinel Upstage Players.

Those attending "Something Wicked This Way Sings" raved about the show, including proud grandparent Peggy Newman, who shared this comment on the NFC Sentinel Upstages Players' Facebook page: "Each actor and actress in this production performed so wonderfully. Congratulations to all on a performance very well done!"

According to Bell, Student Services Coordinator at NFC and community theatre director, the productions are definitely a team effort and community partnership.

"I am so happy that we can showcase the talent we have in our six-county area," said Bell. "I am always amazed at the dedication, time and talent that our cast and crew devote to our shows. Thank you to everyone who made our Halloween production a success. We are already working on 'The Little Mermaid' for January and invite everyone to come out and enjoy the show."

Webb, who co-wrote the October production and played the humorously wicked Winifred Sanderson (Sanderson Sisters), says she is also thankful for the community's support. "We are super pleased and grateful for the community participation in this show. Thank you to all involved for helping bring this production to life!"

The Sentinel Upstage Players are currently rehearsing for the late January production of Disney's "The Little Mermaid JR." It is sure to be another crowd-pleasing performance by the talented NFC Sentinel Upstage Players. Three show times are being offered Friday, Jan. 24, at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Jan. 25, at 2 p.m.; and 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at or from the NFC College Advancement office, (850) 973-1653.

For more information or to get involved with community theatre at NFC, contact Denise Bell at (850) 973-9481 or Find more information online at

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