Varsity Drama puts skills to test


Kathryn Burkhart

Senior Riley Hinman writes notes on her blocking for her show, "Dracula's Daughter."

Kathryn Burkhart, Santa Fe Print Managing Editor

After four years in Competitive (Comp.)  Drama, seniors like Riley Hinman have the opportunity to show what they have learned about theatrics in student-produced shows of their choice known to the team as Capstones.

The nearly 20-year-old tradition is the final exam for the Comp. Drama class. Only four or five seniors have the chance to direct a program. Names are drawn randomly to determine who out of 12 seniors will direct a show.

“I’ve watched every senior Capstone since freshman year,” senior Riley Hinman said. “It holds a lot of sentimental value, because it’s like a final send off for the seniors to see one last performance using all the skills we learned.”

Other members of Comp. Drama are cast to be in the shows at random. Junior Katelyn King, who is normally on the directing side of school productions as a stage manager, finds herself in the spotlight for Capstone; she was cast as Judge Turpin in Riley Henson’s production of Sweeney Todd.

“These shows are a good way to dip your toes in the water of performing on a live stage,” King said. “[Members of Comp. Drama] learn performing in a whole new light, because we perform at tournaments every weekend.”

Before starting pre-production, directors must choose a show. This is usually a broadway musical or play that is shortened to about an hour.

Directors bring on crew members from Theatre Production class to help the plays come to life by providing the technical elements of the play. Although the set pieces, props and costumes are not as elaborate as the school’s annual musical, directors source the talent and resources of those familiar with life backstage to make the show look as professional as possible.

While Capstones are symbolic for seniors as a last hurrah, they are effectively mock performances of a professional grade production in which graduating seniors, if they chose to pursue a career in the performing arts or in management, will encounter in the future.

“Theater direction is an amazing paradigm for management training,” said Comp. Drama coach Robin Robinson. “It’s stress management. It’s people management. It’s time management. It’s all of the stuff that I do as a director but boiled down.”

Capstones will be performed on May 10 at 6:30 p.m. in Santa Fe’s auditorium and will be open to the public free of charge.

Contact Kathryn Burkhart at [email protected]