WellesleyWeston Magazine


Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/65046

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Page 29 of 195

[forum] CHRIS HOLOWNIA writer CHRISTOPHER HOLOWNIA was the valedictorian of the Wellesley High School Class of 2002 and went on to attend Yale University where he conducted the Whiffenpoofs and ultimately graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Philosophy. He subsequently founded and developed the Mandarin Chinese program for the Wellesley Public Schools. He currently teaches foreign languages at The Rivers School in Weston and serves as a choir director at St. John the Evangelist Church in Wellesley. He has directed the music for over forty musicals in nine years and aspires one day to own a theater company of his own. My Summer Home The Weston Drama Workshop in my earlyadolescent years, after school let out, my parents were at an obvious loss as to what they should do with me. I didn't want to attend your run-of-the-mill sleepaway camp, I harbored no desire for playing sports, and I possessed precious little in the way of social skills. My interests and inclinations simply failed to gibe with those of other kids my age, and this proved at once baffling and frustrating. I took piano lessons, studied music theory, and sang in a youth choir, but none of these activities sufficiently rounded out my schedule. One summer, my mother brought me to see a couple of shows produced by the Weston Drama Workshop (WDW). I couldn't believe my eyes. Middle schoolers performing a full-length, mainstream musical comedy complete with eye-popping choreography, large sets, beautiful lighting, dazzling costumes, working microphones, and a professional band? Such high-quality art done at such a young age was absolutely unheard of. I needed to be on that stage. It was too late by that point to get involved with The Hobbit, but I auditioned for Babes in Toyland and Merrily We Roll Along the summer after my sixth grade year, and I've participated faithfully ever since. Fifteen years later, having risen through the ranks, I am now a proud member of the WDW Board of Directors. In the interval I have performed onstage, backstage, and in the pit orchestra for approximately 30 of their productions. I have both directed and music directed shows for both the morning and evening programs. I've painted sets, donated props, and organized cos- tumes. I look forward to each upcoming season with just as much anticipation as the partici- pants do. Right on the tail of our culminating events near the end of July, I'm already helping to design the subsequent summer's program, reading evaluations, and devising new ways to make 28 the next WDW experience even better than the last. I take pleasure in frequent collabo- ration with the staff during the intervening school year, and I derive a great deal of joy from seeing as many WDW members as I can perform in or direct their own school productions around the area. Do I sound addicted? In all honesty, there is no other place I would rather spend my summer months! The Regis College Fine Arts Center in Weston, whose stage the WDW graces each July, is about as high- class an auditorium as you can come by in this area. The lighting and sound capacities are top-notch, the building is air-condi- tioned, and we even have access to a black box theater, a set shop, a green room, and makeup rooms. It is a true privilege to work in that space. It is there that I first found a summer home where I felt comfortable in my own skin. I was able to shine and flour- ish in ways I could not have hoped to do at school. I forged lasting, meaningful friend- ships that have provided a great deal of social and emotional support over the years. I discovered a niche where people believed in me and helped me to grow immensely, both personally and profession- WellesleyWeston Magazine | summer 2012

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