Candis Dancy, a senior theater performance major, made her debut on the Essential Theatre stage last week playing Oya, the lead character in “In the Red and Brown Water.”
Dancy has had a passion for theater since high school, where she was a dancer in productions.
“This is actually my first ever acting show because I have only ever danced in a show, but I knew since that show that I loved theater and the whole process of it,” said Dancy.
Dancy talked about the process from just trying out for the role with little hope of being cast, to landing the lead role of Oya.
“I wasn’t going to audition this season, but one of my friends said, ‘I can really see you as this character.’ So I read the play twice before the audition, and I didn’t really see myself as the character but the more I read it the more I understood it,” Dancy said.
Oya, her character, is a young talented track runner, who has to place her dream of running track at the state university with a full ride scholarship on the back burner, to stay at home with her dying mother.
Dancy said that along with the excitement of tackling her first major role came anxiousness.
“I was so excited and very proud of myself, but that whole weekend I started to get very anxious thinking like, what if I don’t live up to this part, what are people going to think of me,” said Dancy.
Dancy says that she had to trust the process, and know that she would not have been put in this position if God did not see it fit for her.
The part of the production that is her favorite is the rehearsal process. During that time Dancy feels that is where you grow and find yourself within the character.
Kaitlin Terrell, a senior theater performance major and best friend of Dancy, reflects on her excitement for her friend.
“When I found out Candis got the lead role, I was very excited for her because I knew she always wanted a role on the Essential Theatre stage. I knew Candis would be a perfect fit for the role,” said Terrell.
Terrell added that for this to be Dancy’s first major role, she did a great job and played Oya well.
Recent School of Journalism and Graphic Communications graduate, Katherine Brinkley-Broomfield, says that she always knew Dancy was cable of everything she sought after.
“I know how much this means to her; it’s the first production of the season, her debut on the main stage with the Essential Theatre and it’s the leading role. Her personal journey shows that when you just believe in yourself, you can do anything you set your mind to,” said Brinkley-Broomfield.
Brinkley-Broomfield added that she is proud of Dancy for breaking out of her shell and going after what allows her to see her full potential.
Dancy hopes to transition from theater to film once she graduates. She wants to pursue a career as a stunt coordinator, while still dancing.