Capital student gets creative with capstone project

A&E, Student Life

Capstones are a way for students to challenge themselves academically, but they can also be a great creative outlet. Daniel Robey decided to do something a little different for his.

Robey, senior English education student, decided that he was going to present the play Ordinary Days, as his Capstone. Though he’s been given many educational opportunities at Capital, he felt that putting on a play would give him an experience that he’s yet to have.

“I hadn’t yet gotten a chance to direct, design, and produce in a way that would stimulate my real life experience,” Robey said. Ordinary Days was his way to get that experience.

Ordinary Days stood out to Robey after he listened to its album. It stuck with him because he saw his friend group as people that would fit well into the roles.

“When I decided to put together a show, I knew that my original friends would not only have my back for a four month rehearsal process, but they would also be the most talented people to fill the roles,” he said.

Robey is studying to be a high school English teacher, and he hopes to one day lead the theater program for the school he teaches at. He might even want to teach theater classes as well.

Robey has been involved in theater since the seventh grade (earlier if his narration of a Thanksgiving play in the third grade counts). Despite all of his experience, the technical side of things was new to him so there was a lot to learn throughout his project. Robey says that designing the show was especially challenging.

“I had to design a set with a unique concept on a small budget in a small space that was never originally designed for theater,” Robey said. He’s very satisfied with set design he and his crew came up with.

Despite its challenges, there was so much about the play that Robey found exciting. The cast in particular always made him feel like the work was worth it.

“I could see the growth in the actors every single rehearsal,” he said. The cast spent chunks of time going over monologues that would take seconds to do on stage, but it really made them confident in their work.

“Every day we would leave rehearsal feeling like we accomplished something and no rehearsal was dry. To see the pride on the actors’ faces as they left the theater is what made me smile,” Robey said.

Completing a capstone isn’t easy, but Robey has some advice that may help out Capital students that still have to do one.

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” he said. Robey’s advisor, Jeff Gress, helped him design the show and supported him when the project got difficult. Robey also reached out to a friend that had graduated and is now directing shows to give him advice.

Robey even managed to get in contact with the composer of Ordinary Days. He thought his idea of skyping with her was a little too optimistic, but when he reached out to her, she offered her support.

Robey’s capstone taught him that even if an idea seems a little ambitious, it might still have the potential to turn into something.

“If an idea seems crazy, spend five or ten minutes living that crazy dream and come up with a small, wimpy excuse for a plan and bring it to someone. It just might work.”

 

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