Beau Gwaltney first came to CHC his freshman year, excited to play basketball, despite driving each day from Smithfield - about an hour drive. When he first stepped foot on campus, his classmates were fascinated by him. Rachel Sifen says she “loved to watch him duck under doorways. Standard door jambs are 6 feet 8 inches; Beau is extremely tall at 7 feet. Rachel Moore recalls, “On the first day he came in, our whole grade was shocked at how tall he was and that he didn’t talk that much, which was weird because he was so big, yet so quiet.” Beau quickly immersed himself heavily into basketball and the theater tech program. His days consisted of leaving Smithfield at 6:00AM, going to school, helping out with tech during study halls and before or after basketball practice, and then leaving school around 7:30-8:00 only to get home around 9 PM each night, do homework, and start all over the next day. He had an incredible schedule by anybody’s standards. His dedication to his passion of basketball and building things in theater was evident from day one.
Over his four years at the Cape Beau continued to dedicate hours of hard work, laying the groundwork for his future in both basketball and building. Sifen discusses their many years together in tech. “You could tell how much he loves building. In tech class when we needed to do something as simple as removing a screw from something, he’d convince us all to take apart an entire platform and put it back together again and then fix the screw, and everytime we needed something he’d either have it in the bed of his truck or on the farm.” Fellow techie Kyle Stewart says of his friend, “It is evident that Beau loves to build. As soon as Mrs. Flu would give us an assignment he’d be the first to start the job. Beau’s a fixer. When building projects didn’t work, he'd recover quickly and say, ‘ok let’s figure something else out’. He gets the job done and figures out a way no matter what.” Beau worked extremely hard in basketball as well. Coach Mark Hall lauds the impact of such dedication, saying “I saw him mature from the first to the last day. He was always goal oriented and believed in helping others when he could.”
Beau looks back at his years at CHC fondly and says that so many people have helped him along the way and the people at the Cape have been really good to him. He credits Mr. Rodgers, Mr. Torch and Mrs. Fluharty and their classes Physics, Engineering and Theater Tech for helping him realize how much he loves to design and build. Mr. Torch says, “Beau loves the idea of building things. In his spare time, he modelled an engine block in 3D software we learned in engineering class. He loves to get his hands involved with projects and enjoyed the parts of engineering class when we were building a bridge and trebuchet this year.” There’s no doubt that Beau’s contribution to the theater tech program has been incomparable. His work as a builder and lighting technician and Que-Lab guru have helped create amazing sets, projections and lighting. Beau innately understands building and technical know-how. We have relied heavily on him over the years in theater tech. One day we hired a professional to come in and solve an emergency lighting issue the day before the US Musical. The professional worked for hours and could not figure it out. After he left Beau had an idea, asked if he could try it and he solved it!