BROOKSVILLE — Sarah Rose Coit will walk across the stage tonight at Central High School, receive her diploma, and soon head off to college. After that, the bright lights of Broadway beckon.
In recent years, Coit has graced the stage in eight plays at Stage West and six at Central High. Some of her roles have included Guinevere from Camelot, Sarah from Guys and Dolls, Abigail Williams from The Crucible and Sharon from Finian's Rainbow.
Her love of performing stems from a personal tragedy. In May 2003, her father, Kevin Coit, passed away, leaving behind Coit, her brother Chris and their mother, Janet Coit.
"The last day of seventh grade," Coit said, recalling that painful day. "It was a rough time, but you have to keep going."
Coit, now 18, was involved with youth model training at the time, and the enjoyment she gained from the activities helped her handle the emotional pain of losing a parent. It also began her love of the limelight.
She hopes to continue her training at the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she will work on a double major of theater and music-voice performance. "It's really, really fun," she said. "I like it."
Coit wanted a double major because she likes to sing as much as act. "I sing here a lot," she said. "I do concerts (for) the county for fundraisers." She has also been Central High's thespian club co-president and the French club vice president.
A good student, Coit has a 3.8 unweighted and about a 4.2 weighted grade point average. As a freshman and sophomore, she said, school was tough while she juggled advanced placement classes and rehearsals.
"I had no life," she said until she learned to budget her time. Now that she has successfully navigated her high school years and is heading off to college, she is a little nervous.
"I like it here, so I'm a little bit scared to go," Coit said. "It's hard to leave." That is especially true since her boyfriend is heading north to the University of Florida in Gainesville. "I think we'll be okay," she said.
Although she will be studying music and theater, Coit said she would like to include some history and/or marine biology in her mix of classes. "Just to stimulate the mind," she said.
Eventually, Coit intends to make her way to the bright lights of New York City. Like so many aspiring actors, she hopes to break into stage there and to take some film classes.