SUNDAY SPOTLIGHT: Kanishk “Kap” Pandey

Pandey participates in Speech and Debate, which requires him to use his writing and directing skills.
Pandey (right) participates in Speech and Debate, which requires him to use his writing and directing skills. Photo illustration.

By Cassie Archer, Staff–

Last summer, Davis High senior Kanishk “Kap” Pandey participated at an apprenticeship program for Powerhouse Theater Company at Vassar College in New York. He worked as a playwriting apprentice, writing and putting on his own shows while working side-by-side with professional playwrights.

The camp allowed Pandey to “see how things are done” in the field of his passion: writing.

“I mainly do playwriting, but I do a lot of short story work, a lot of poetry work,” Pandey said. “I feel like […] there’s complete freedom in form in writing, but I feel like with plays there’s this possible ability for life,” Pandey said.

Although he has always enjoyed telling stories, Pandey said he currently approaches writing from a literary perspective instead of simply writing “for the sake of writing.”

Pandey credits this change to his profound interest in literature.

“I have a whole bunch of writers that I could talk a lot about, but we don’t have time for that,” Pandey said. “I found a lot of love for those writers, for their style, for the reason they were important, and specifically [for] their honesty.”

Pandey incorporates his writing into other parts of his life, such as Speech and Debate.

“I’ve competed in an event where it’s basically writing your own one-man show and performing it,” Pandey said. He describes the event as a monologue mixed with a soliloquy, with a focus on interacting with the audience.

“I think it’s fun and it makes the audience a little nervous [and] uncomfortable, and that can be used very well,” Pandey said.

Pandey’s writing skill is on display elsewhere as well; one of his accomplishments is winning first place in the Princeton Ten-Minute Play Contest, for which he wrote “An Unaware Bird.” Pandey has also done some directing work with Powerhouse Theater Company.

Pandey plans to go to college after high school, where he will continue to work on his writing.

“Honestly, a lot of playwrights and writers, and artists in general, make the mistake of not getting their work out before college, [or] they like to wait for college to end and then start,” Pandey said. “I kind of want to be in a place where I can do both [writing and college] at the same time.”

Pandey says that honesty plays an important role in his writing style.

“I don’t really try [to] say a message, [because] I feel like that’s a bit too easy,” he said. “It’s about being just honest. Tell the story […] but be honest about it, don’t hold back, don’t be politically correct, and in that, people will find their own message and their own truths in it and that’s important.”

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