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Quite the Day for Capstone Projects


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On May 19, Canton senior Syd West, Plymouth senior Carter Salata and Salem senior Tarriel Cannon all showcased their Capstone Projects through the Arts Academy at the same time. Well, practically.

Salata and Cannon put on their show together at the Canton DuBois Little Theater. West was at the Plymouth Coffee Bean in Downtown Plymouth. It all started at 7 p.m. At the Little Theater, Cannon introducing her six volunteer dancers before they performed to three songs that Cannon choreographed completely on her own.

“I chose the project I did because I wanted to spread the word about dance and showcase dance more in the Arts Academy,” Cannon said. “The first dance was called ‘Run Boy Run,’ and the choreography was based on how intense the song is. The second dance was called ‘Get Low,’ which was a love story. Basically, the guy doesn’t know how to commit, and when the girl finally decides to move on with her life, he tries to hold her back. In the end, she leaves him behind.”

Cannon also mentioned that she and her dancers only rehearsed a total of seven times before the showcase.

After this part of the presentation, Salata informed the audience of what they would be showing for their project. “I made a short film about different mental disorders that affect kids at the Park. I chose to do this because I am a big advocate for mental health awareness, especially in high school students. I know how it feels to live with an illness that no one can see and have to pretend that you’re fine.”

Salata interviewed 15 to 20 people during this project to get a real-life feel for the illnesses they would be bringing to light, in which they recruited six actors to help portray. Salata did this to bring these issues face to face with people. “Mental health issues aren’t going to go away, so society needs to stop treating them like they will,” Salata concluded.

After Salata’s roughly 12 minute video, Cannon’s dancers came back on stage for one final song. “The finally dance was called ‘Breathe.’ It was about mental disorders/illnesses, and it shows how one can come together and express their differences with others.”

Thus concluded two very successful Capstone projects, but over at the Plymouth Coffee Bean, the “Skin and Bones” show, organized by West, was only half over.

West also created a video that included real time interviews with LGBTQ+ members of the community and a song that West wrote themself. “Since I do both music and film, I chose to make a music video to a song that I wrote, but I wanted to take it a step further and make it into something I was really passionate about, so I interviewed LGBTQ+ students at P-CEP and included their interviews in the video to show that despite our differences, we are still humans.”

After West finished their roughly 15 minute video, called “Skin and Bones – Syd West feat. Kam,” which can be found on YouTube, they organized a concert at the Plymouth Coffee Bean to spread their message. “I had amazing opening acts [including] Lavender, Starhed and Paper Crowns, I showed my video and I performed some of my own songs live as well.”

It was an extremely successful Capstone project. The Bean was filled to the brim with people supporting West or supporting West’s cause.

All three students who showcased their project that evening came from different schools and different backgrounds, but they all made something amazing through the assistance of the Arts Academy.

Salata said, “I’m a musical theatre nerd, a choir kid and a dancer, and I made a film–something I never would have gotten the chance to do if I hadn’t taken Capstone and been in the Arts Academy. I’m very proud.”

Cannon wanted to give Arts Academy seniors of next year this advice: don’t procrastinate. “And also, don’t be scared to break out of your comfort zone and let go of the reigns a little bit… just have fun doing the things you love.”

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Quite the Day for Capstone Projects