Theatre Major Accepted to Renowned Savannah College of Art and Design

April 26, 2022

Danyal Renode  

Danyal Renode’s career path has taken a complete 180 from his original aspirations of becoming a math teacher. Renode has been accepted to the renowned Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He will begin classes as a performing arts major in the fall 2022 semester.

Currently a theatre major at Arkansas State University-Beebe, Renode became involved in theatre in his junior year of high school and discovered he had a passion for telling a story on stage. “I didn’t necessarily know I wanted to do it as a profession, but it was a hobby and a passion,” he said. “I was always in choir. We did Beauty and the Beast, and I got the role of LeFou. That’s where my love for theatre started.”

Renode said after discussing the theatre program with Ryan Gibbons, Assistant Professor of Communications/Theatre, he switched his major from math to fine arts, and the rest is history. “I did know that I wanted to teach. I went from wanting to teach math to wanting to teach high school theatre and be a high school director. I want to be the kind of teacher that I was so fortunate to have growing up. As I progressed through the program, I decided I wanted to teach as a backup and pursue acting full force, specifically voice acting.”

In looking for universities where he could continue his education, Renode said he knew he would need an institution that would give him a combination of the skills needed for his chosen profession, as well as networking opportunities. Hope Hargrove, Theatre/Communications instructor, earned her master’s degree from SCAD and shared information about the school with him. “I started doing my own research and fell in love with the resources and things that they offered. They have a class designated specifically for what I want to do,” he said.

Renode got the call that he was accepted to the college while working on campus at Beebe. “It was a very big moment. I couldn’t stop crying that day. I was working very hard to compose myself. It was at that moment that I realized all my hard work has paid off. All the hardships I’ve gone through have been worth it.”

A first-generation college student, Renode spent a great deal of his childhood on his grandparents’ farm in the Vilonia area and graduated from Beebe High School. He said growing up, he was committed to pursuing higher education. “If you do the hard work now, you won’t have to work so hard later in life. I’m building the future I want to see.”

Renode said that it was surreal to know that his experience could be an inspiration to future students. “I’m literally the vanguard in this situation, and that’s the most exciting and terrifying thing, to think that I’m carving this pathway out for other students. I come from humble beginnings, and I can’t and won’t forget that. I’m very glad I started here instead of somewhere bigger. I’m showing that you can start small and still achieve your dreams.”

ASU-Beebe is the only two-year college in central Arkansas that offers an Associate of Fine Arts (AFA) degree. The AFA degree has an emphasis in vocal music or instrumental music, theatre, graphic design, or creative arts enterprise. For more information about ASU-Beebe programs, call (501) 882-3600, or visit 

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