An aspiring artist with a paintbrush and a script
Rachel Hunt loved art growing up and did a lot of drawing in high school. In college, she went through a rough time and decided to take a painting class to relieve stress.
“I love the solitude of it and the real sense of accomplishment as you get to watch your painting take shape in front of you,” said Hunt, of West Palm Beach.
In her 20s, she’s learned to blend her love for art with her passion for acting. In The Playgroup’s upcoming Boca Raton show “Short Cuts 8,” Hunt plays Amanda, a frustrated artist looking in the wrong places for an escape from her stalled career.
“I usually play younger characters because I look younger than I am, so it’s exciting to play someone a little more mature and closer to me in age,” said Hunt, 27.
The Playgroup presents its popular shorts program for its eighth season, full of comedies, dramas and surprises. The eight 10-minute plays by South Florida playwrights at the Willow Theatre at Sugar Sand Park Hunt is a part of starts Friday and runs through May 13.
“As far as painting, this is probably the highlight,” Hunt said. “I’m excited and a little nervous to have my painting featured so prominently in a play. It’s harder to say for acting. I’ve loved all the roles I’ve gotten to play.”
She said the most fun she’s had acting was last summer when she played Antonio in “The Tempest” at the A.C.T. Studio Theatre in Stuart.
“I never thought I’d get to play a bona fide Shakespearian villain and get to carry around a sword, and I definitely milked it as much as I could,” said Hunt, who majored in theater at Stetson University, but took art history and painting classes on the side.
“I’m often cast as characters that have kind of an edge, and I think what I’m able to bring to them is a vulnerability that I hope helps the audience empathize with otherwise difficult characters,” said Hunt, who grew up in Jensen Beach.
Being on stage isn’t easy for Hunt, who suffers from agoraphobia, fear of public spaces. It kept her from acting in her early 20s.
“My agoraphobia is a big obstacle, but acting helps me cope,” she said.
Animals also c a lm her nerves. For two years, she’s worked at a doggy day care and boarding facility. In her spare time, she plays the trumpet and five-string banjo.
‘I usually play younger characters because I look younger than I am.’ Rachel Hunt artist and actress
Rachel Hunt, a painter-turned-actress, stars as Amanda in The Playgroup’s latest production, “Short Cuts 8,” a series of eight 10-minute plays starting Friday at the Sugar Sand Park’s Willow Theatre in Boca Raton.