Palmetto High School junior Sebastien Siclait volunteers as a stage hand for Miami Children’s Theater at the Dave and Mary Alper Jewish Community Center.
“I act here (at Palmetto High School), but the reason I mostly work in the technical area at Miami Children’s Theater is because it’s more of a musical theater and I’m more of a straight actor,” he says.
Siclait says he began his volunteer work at Miami Children’s Theater because his voice teacher is one of the directors there.
“It’s a great opportunity to see how other directors handle directing a show or castings or blocking or choreography,” he says.
Siclait’s goal is to have a career in acting after college. He began working in drama when he was in the eighth grade at Southwood Middle School. However, he says he decided that he wanted to be involved in acting when he was in the fourth grade. In his ninth grade year, Siclait played one of the pirates in Peter Pan.
In the 10th grade, he had a part in the play The Laramie Project, with is based on interviews in the town where Matthew Shepherd was murdered. In those performances he played a detective, priest and a local person. Later that year he played the judge in Hello Dolly.
“This year I had the role of Trevor in Bedroom Farce and I also played the character of the Huntsman (the lead role) in a student run piece for One Act plays,” he says. “It was a competition. Each troupe puts together up to a 40-minute play. Seven of the troupes got superiors, but only five got to go on to state competition. Sadly that was not us.”
Outside of acting, Siclait is on the school newspaper staff. At one point he was in charge of the online newspaper, but found he could not handle both his Internet editing duties and has drama activities. So he reduced his newspaper workload to being a staff writer and works on a variety of assignments. However, he tends to write about science technology and media topics.
“Last issue, I wrote a story about video games,” he says. “It was more about how the video game industry had been taking some blows and how the year wasn’t too good, moneywise, and how they pulled it together at the end.”
Siclait is also involved in the effort to bring back the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) club at Palmetto. He’s a member of a committee made up of thespians driven to revive the club in honor of Helen Marie Witty, a Palmetto student who was killed by an impaired driver.
“A scholarship is given to students in the drama program who exemplify Helen Marie Witty’s drive,” he says. “I’m president of that committee; it was established at the end of last year. We helped to raise awareness of the AT&T campaign, Not Texting and Driving, It Can Wait.”
He and others went out to the school’s parking lot and gave out decals for the don’t text program.
“We played the PSA (public service announcement) later in the day,” he says. “We’re going to have a meeting and discuss going to a DUI checkpoint to showing people what its like.”
Recently, Siclait began volunteering to work at the Deering Estate.
“I go for the monthly clean-ups that they do,” he says.
At one time, Siclait was an athlete and participated in wrestling program. He wrestled in middle school, but when he was in the ninth grade he broke his collar bone for the second time. He decided it was time to stop wrestling and concentrate on developing his drama skills.
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld