Artist of the Issue: Wally Capen 


Courtesy of Adam Richins Photography

From portraying the humble leading-man Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde the Musical, to the stick-wielding, intrepid stowaway Pascal in the fall production of Naomi Iizuka’s Anon(ymous), Wally Capen ’22 has managed to capture the hearts of the Groton community with his charm and versatility in the arts. Wally has established himself as an extraordinary performer on the Circle through his involvement in theater, vocal music, and leadership in the arts. 


How did you discover your passion for the arts? 


Some of my earliest memories regarding art are of my older sister and I singing and dancing to Justin Bieber and putting on shows for family friends. Even though I already had an early interest in the arts, I have my parents to thank for getting me seriously involved. They encouraged me not to quit guitar, and also to audition for plays at a youth theater company in Nashua, where I performed in shows from fourth grade until I enrolled at Groton. At Groton, the theater program was an entirely different gateway for me to explore the vast opportunities, from plays to musicals.


What is your involvement in the arts at Groton? Are there any aspects of it that you’re especially proud of?


I have especially loved participating in the performing arts program at Groton. I am now a Theater Prefect after participating in Groton musicals since second form, and even a few years before I became a student here [as a faculty child.] I have also loved singing with the Maqupellas and playing guitar in the Groton guitar group, the Guitar Project. 


My proudest moments from my time in the arts at Groton, much like any other performer’s, come from the satisfaction of hearing the last line ring onstage, and knowing that our hard work over the term finally paid off. Everything comes full circle at that moment, so hearing the audience’s cheers after the finale is an especially sweet reward. 



Reflecting on your past performances, what was something you learned that was important to your artistry?


One lesson I learned from my experience in theater was the importance of flexibility in the art-making process, offstage and onstage. Looking back on Legally Blonde, I remember spending so much time rehearsing a quick-change that had to be done onstage in under thirty seconds. Eventually after our countless practices, I was able to get the change done on opening night; however, there was a problem with my tie and collar, so the reveal of my suit didn’t give its full intended effect to the audience. We ended up making a last-minute alteration to my costume and it was reassuring to know that, with adjustments, the final product we had envisioned during rehearsal could be delivered flawlessly to the audience in the actual performances.  


What are your plans for singing or the performing arts in the future?


Here at Groton, I plan to get the Guitar Project up and running again so that we can hopefully perform in some recitals and concerts this spring term. Although I don’t plan on majoring in the arts in college, I would love to continue my streak with performing arts through what I’ve always done: playing guitar, possibly singing in an a cappella group, and engaging in theater to the best of my ability.


Do you have any advice for students interested in joining the arts?


Don’t be afraid to pursue your interests wholeheartedly! The community of artists at Groton is incredibly supportive and genuine. When you spend so much time with peers who share your passion, you end up forming unexpected bonds with students, faculty, and staff that make walking into rehearsal each day something to truly look forward to. I have absolutely loved everyone who I have met through Groton’s art program, and I would encourage anyone who is thinking about joining to do so! The program truly is an unconditional safe-space for personal expression and creative vision, so everyone’s voice is equally heard and valued.