The space where the sets for the many theatrical performances of Cape Fear Academy come to life is now named for the teacher that has helped countless students explore their passions. The Benedict R. Fancy Scene Shop, located just behind the Erin E. McNeill Fine Arts Center, was dedicated in honor of Fancy by Cheryl and Bill Kanzinger and their children through their generous philanthropic gifts. Being coworkers of Fancy, Cheryl and Bill have experienced how much impact he has on his students’ lives through working with him, but also through their three children — Ellen (Class of 2014), Megan (Class of 2016), and Eric (Class of 2018).
“As a family, we wanted to honor everything he is and everything he stands for, and we felt the best way to do this was making a donation that would allow him to further develop the technical theatre program that he has built over his tenure at CFA while honoring him by naming the Scene Shop after him,” Bill Kanzinger said. “We are extremely proud of who our children have grown up to become, and Ben’s influence on that can’t be ignored. He’s that teacher who inspires excellence, and his class is the one you look forward to and want to take again.”
As for the Kanzinger children, Megan, Ellen, and Eric had the following to say about their former mentor and teacher:
“Mr. Fancy has changed the lives of so many students for the better, and I am so grateful for the teacher he was, and the friend he has become. It has been an honor to work alongside him and learn from the best.” – Megan Kanzinger, Class of 2014
“Every student deserves to have a teacher who helps them find their voice, and Mr. Fancy was that person for me. From introducing me to the art of photography to trusting me to stage manage a show at Thalian Hall, he encouraged me at a time in my life when I didn’t really know who I was or what I wanted out of life.” – Ellen Kanzinger, Class of 2016
“I can honestly say I do not know what I would have done without Mr. Fancy. He was more than just a teacher and a mentor, he was a friend and you could see he truly cared about the success and well-being of all his students. I would have never become the person I am today without his guidance and I know that any student who has the opportunity to work with him will learn so many valuable skills and lessons to help them in the future.” – Eric Kanzinger, Class of 2018
Outfitted with the tools required, the Fancy Scene Shop will continue to be home to countless elaborate set designs and learning experiences for Cape Fear Academy students for years to come. As the Kanzingers attested, Fancy exemplifies the way in which Cape Fear Academy faculty foster mentoring relationships with their students that last a lifetime.