Senior Dustyn Stokes was sitting in a bathtub with two strangers when she found out she had earned the role of Fiona in “Shrek The Musical.”
“It was the night the tornado warnings were happening last spring,” Stokes said. “I was in a bathtub in Shores because we had to be in the bathrooms or closets on the first floor and I freaked out. It was in a happy way, not in an, ‘Oh no, tornados are coming’ way, but I don’t think the girls I was with really understood.”
Stokes said she has been acting since she was 4 years old, and since then she has been in 15 community theater productions, four Harding musicals and more. She knew from a young age that she enjoyed being in the spotlight.
“When I was 3, I went to a community theater performance of ‘Peter Pan,’ and I remember going but not this happening,” Stokes said. “I said to my mom, ‘Why am I not up there?’ and the next spring I tried out for ‘Wizard of Oz’ and was in the show.”
This is Stokes’ first time to have a lead role in a musical. Although she was a Spring Sing hostess last spring, this part is completely different because of the nature of the performance.
In Spring Sing, Stokes said she was able to be herself and did not have to portray any other character or personality, but obviously being in “Shrek The Musical” requires a totally different persona.
Through the Homecoming musical experience and all of her theater performances, Stokes said she has been able to learn discipline.
“There are certain things you can’t just learn in a day like you can studying for a quiz or something,” Stokes said. “I have to spend some time on it everyday. Like memorizing lines; you have to keep doing it everyday.”
Stokes was also able to learn new skills from this production.
“I got to learn how to tap dance and it’s so fun,” Stokes said. “When I was little, I was fascinated with tap dancing, but you just have to learn the basics and then it’s not too hard from there.”
Overall, Stokes said “Shrek The Musical” has been one of her favorite shows that she has taken part in. Her favorite performance so far has been when she was in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat,” but she said this show has the potential to top that, because it’s different in a great kind of way.
“It’s been a dream,” Stokes said.