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NFCC Community Theatre sells out Van H. Priest Auditorium The NFCC Sentinel Upstage Players receive standing ovation for Shrek the Musical, Jr.

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What a great sight to see North Florida Community College’s Van H. Priest Auditorium full of community members, students and children – both on stage and filling the audience – during Saturday’s performance of Shrek the Musical, Jr. presented by the NFCC Sentinel Upstage Players, the College’s community theatre troupe. The show sold out a matinee and packed the house for another evening performance.

“Words cannot express the love and gratitude for everyone that came out in support of Shrek the Musical, Jr.,” said Denise Bell, NFCC Community Theatre coordinator and play director. “What an awesome cast, crew, parents and grandparents. They have worked hard since September to pull off this production that included 60 cast members, 20 backstage/behind the scenes crew members, 16 Madison Creative Arts Academy chorus members, and all the parents/grandparents that have been with us at every rehearsal. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!”

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Willie Gamalero (Donkey), Hank Thompson (Shrek) and Chrystal Furst (Princess Fiona) entertain a sold out crowd the Sentinel Upstage Players’ production of Shrek the Musical, Jr. at NFCC’s Van H. Priest Auditorium on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

The cast included a mix of NFCC students and employees, children and members of the community. Those attending raved about the show – “It was an awesome show. Everyone did a great job!” and “It was a fun show to watch and Kudos to all!” were just a couple of the congratulatory comments posted on the NFCC Facebook page.

Willy Gamalero of Madison played the humorous Donkey opposite Shrek (Hank Thompson). He says it was an amazing experience. “I had a fantastic time working with the cast and crew of Shrek the Musical, Jr.,” said Gamalero. “It was a great joy to bring laughter and entertainment to our community.”

The NFCC Sentinel Upstage Players hold at least one major production each year and auditions are open to the public. Participants gain experience in acting, directing, lighting, set design and other areas of the theater. Bell invites anyone interested in taking the spotlight or helping backstage to find out more - “We look forward to seeing everyone again at one of our future productions or even join us on the big stage," said Bell.

Upcoming opportunities include open auditions for the “Sentinel Showcase,” a night of original one act plays written by local playwrights, on Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. at Van H. Priest Auditorium; these performances will be held April 7-8. For more information or to get involved with community theatre at NFCC, contact Denise Bell at 850-973-9481 or

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