PSC student enjoys roles in theater productions

Home Features PSC student enjoys roles in theater productions

Stephen Harwick

The Corsair

It’s an impressive resume, boasting some of the most diverse characters on stage: Pap Finn (“Big River), Uncle Henry (“The Wizard of Oz”), the Hamburgler (“Superman”), and Amos Hart (“Chicago”) – all played by the very talented Pensacola State College theater major Kip Hayes.

His most recent role was that of Hart in the production of “Chicago.”

“He’s a guy who is resigned to his status as a nobody,” Hayes explains. “He’s the only sympathetic character in the show. His song, “Mr. Cellophane,” really resonates with an audience because at some point everyone has felt invisible to someone else, and the audience always responded so well to his little moments of sadness.”

This is the type of insight Hayes brings to his characters. A 2010 graduate of Pace High School, Hayes’ first exposure to theater was in high school when he took an introductory course in theater on a whim. He enjoyed the experience, but “it wasn’t until I did ‘It’s a Bird… It’s a Plane… It’s Superman!’ here at Pensacola State’s summer program that I decided I wanted to devote more time to it,” Hayes says.

His performances belie how little training he’s received: four years of high school productions along with performances (and only two acting classes) at Pensacola State.

“Every show is a real learning experience,” he says.

“I think the first step to understanding a character is discovering what that character wants to accomplish in his/her actions,” Hayes says, adding that every action a character makes is an attempt to get one step closer toward that goal.

“The rest (inflection, body language, etc.) comes very quickly and naturally.”

Hayes’ plans to continue with Pensacola State productions the rest of this year, and then hopes to find employment with the Southeastern Theatre Conference. There, actors audition before representatives of various theaters throughout the Southeast. About a dozen Pensacola State theater majors attended earlier this term, including Hayes who passed.

In his spare time, Hayes enjoys reading, writing, and drawing. Hayes has written his own stage play that was produced and performed while he attended Pace High.

His advice to anyone who hopes to become an actor was, “Ask people who don’t know you to critique your acting. With acting, you really need an honest, outside opinion.”