The Merchant of Venice
April 14, 2011
Name: Michael Bobrowski
From: New Bern, NC
Hobbies? Sports, the great outdoors, art, and hanging out with friends and family.
Who's your favorite professor and what's your favorite class? All the professors are great in their own way, but I would have to pick Mrs. Hickson's ENGL 201 and Dr. Cuddeback's Metaphysics as my two favorite classes. They strive for excellence in the classroom and exude a true love for the material.
What extra-curricular activities do you participate in? I am currently a member of the varsity baseball team and Students for Life. I also enjoy participation in the intramurals and assisting the Admissions Office as a Student Ambassador, Last, but not least, I have been honored to assist our dedicated chaplain, Fr. Planty, at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as an altar server. I've committed myself to all these things because I feel it is important to become involved on campus and serve God and neighbor.
What is your favorite thing about Christendom? The people are definitely my favorite part about Christendom. I have never before encountered such a vibrant, loving, and faith-filled community.
Why did you choose Christendom? I chose Christendom because I knew it would prepare me for life's many challenges and it would assist me in fulfilling my vocation to "restore all things in Christ."
What has surprised you the most about Christendom? Christendom has surprised me most in how much this college experience has changed my life. I have not only grown academically and spiritually, but I have also been able to foster true friendships that will last a lifetime.
Plans after graduation? God willing, I hope to attend Sacred Art School in Florence, Italy, to pursue a career in sculpting.
Any parting words of advice for a prospective student? Make the most of your college experience, for it is a once in a lifetime opportunity!
While Christendom is certainly known for its academic brilliance, the students of the college are also incredibly artistically talented. Aside from the plays and the musical events the college holds every year, an art show is held in the St. John the Evangelist Library. Many different works by students are displayed in the show, including photography, pencil sketches, charcoal, sculpting, and painting.
To add extra incentive for students to participate, there is a contest in each category with a prize of fifty dollars to the winning artist. The pieces are judged by Christendom staff who are proficient in the various areas, for example Craig Speiring, a professional photographer judges the photography, while Mr. Armstrong judges the sculptures and paintings.
The art show is a great way for students to think outside of their normal academic box, and encourages them to share their talent with others. Senior Megan Rolla, who works in the library, and has several pieces displayed, loves the art show, and encourages everyone to participate.
“It's really really impressive to see what the students can do," she says. "People that you never would have guessed, bring in some really amazing pieces.”
Sketches, sculptures and more are on display. The sculpture of a child's face is by Sophomore Mike Bobrowski.
"J.R.R. Tolkien" by Freshman Morgan Robey.
The Christendom College Players brought Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to life at the Warren County High School Auditorium on April 8-10.
The play was dedicated to English Professor Dr. Patrick Keats, who not only performed a small role in Merchant, but also helped direct the play (see "Special Report" below). His thirtieth theatre production at Christendom, Keats was joined by alumnus Mike Powell in assisting alumnus Peter Smith, the play’s primary director. With costumes and sets mirroring the 1920’s, the play showcased Christendom’s dramatic talent as actors tackled the many stirring scenes and complex themes of the play.
"Merchant has just about everything one could ask for in a play," Keats said. "We had some very colorful characters, such as Shylock, the devious moneylender, and the lovely Portia, who matches wits with him—a suspenseful courtroom scene, three sets of romantic lovers, and some of Shakespeare's most beautiful verse."
Seasoned Christendom player and senior Steven Curtin played the complex character of Shylock, the Jewish money-lender. His performance captured the passion, greed, and sorrow found in one of Shakespeare’s most famous characters.
Sophomore Olivia Aveni gave a very memorable performance as Portia, the young Venetian heiress. Her presence on the stage carried the great dramatic weight found in the play, particularly in the famous courtroom scene. Freshman James Ciskanik was her strong leading man, Bassanio.
The fool, Lancelot, played by Freshman Matthew Harris, kept the audience laughing.
The first suitor: Prince of Morocco played by Freshman Andrew Clark.
The Prince of Arragon (Sophomore Matt Camp) finds a surprise in the poorly chosen silver casket
Harris and Keats, as Lancelot’s father Old Gobbo, gave the audience a taste of professional Shakespearean theater.
Sad news from Venice comes to Bassanio.
Lorenzo (Freshman Zachary Smith) receives a letter from "fair Jessica."
Portia and her waiting maid, Nerissa—played by Kathleen Deighan—devise a plan to test the devotion of their men.
The famous courtroom scene was very well done.
On Monday, the Admissions Office held its second Family Visit Day of the semester. Prospective students and their parents were able to sit in on classes, take a tour our campus, attend Mass, enjoy a Q & A with a student panel, view a presentation of our Rome campus by Admissions Director Tom McFadden, hear special presentations on our spiritual and academic life, and even take a look inside the residence halls.
It was a great opportunity to learn more about Christendom's unique educational apostolate. If you'll be a college-bound senior next semester, look to our visits webpage in the future for similar Senior Visit Days in the fall.
The student panel related some of the fun times they've had Christendom—here in Front Royal and in Rome.
Director of Admissions Tom McFadden chats with a visiting family about what makes Christendom unique.
Admissions Counselor Eve Owen takes the girls on a tour of the campus and the women's residence halls.
Every Tuesday night in the St. Lawrence Commons, Senior Matt Rensch and Sophomore Jessica Inzeo teach open ballroom dancing lessons. Students learn how to waltz, tango, cha-cha, foxtrot, and more.
“Ballroom dancing is a really fun way to learn new types of dancing,” says Sophomore Matt Camp. “It is also a nice break from school work on a stressful Tuesday night.”
It is always easy to tell which students have been attending ballroom classes, since they are usually the ones showcasing new moves at the school dances!
Practicing their moves: Sophomores Matt Camp and Jessica Inzeo, Fresman Loretto Spiering and Senior Matt Rensch.
Tuesday night in Kilian's Cafe, there was a crowd of students, faculty, and locals alike, looking to become more informed about the Tea Party. Mark Lloyd, Chairman of the Virginia Tea Party, came and presented a few in's and out's, and answered questions about the Tea Party, essentially, what it is, where it got it's name, and a few basic principles.
He emphasized how important it is for our generation to stay informed, to watch the news, and to pay attention to what is going on in the government so that we can be aware of what is going on, and the changes that are happening, and need to happen in the government.
The College Republicans, one of the many political groups at Christendom, often hold events such as this one to keep the campus informed about political matters, and encourage involvement in the political world.
Zach Martin, Chairman of the College Republicans at Liberty University, addressed students briefly as well.
I'll be back next week...
Yes, we do study over here in Rome. I'm taking a little break to focus on a paper and a presentation that I have due. I'll be back next week to fill you in on all the latest treasures of Rome that we've discovered.
Enjoy this glimpse into our Rome program from Christendom's DVD, Breathe Catholic:
Christendom's Theater Guru: Dr. Patrick Keats
Dr. Patrick Keats is an integral part of the drama community at Christendom College. During this "Special Report" he shares some insight into the drama world and what it takes to become involved.
How long have you been involved with drama at Christendom?
I became the faculty moderator for the Christendom Players during my first year here, in the fall of 1992.
How many productions have you directed and/or produced?
Starting in the spring of 1993, I have produced and/or directed thirty major productions as well as about a half dozen other, shorter plays.
What has been your favorite play to direct?
It’s hard to talk about “favorites,” but there are a few that do stand out. Certainly Hamlet, which we performed in 2005, would be high up on the list. Among the musicals, Oliver has a warm place in my heart: it was the first musical Christendom ever did. But I also think of The Scarlet Pimpernel, with the amazing costumes and production numbers; and Hello, Dolly!, which combined lovely songs and costumes with some extremely funny scenes. Truly, I’ve enjoyed all the shows we have done, but a few others that come to mind as especially satisfying for me personally were A Man for All Seasons, Here Comes Mr. Jordan, An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde, and T.S. Eliot’s The Cocktail Party.
What is your favorite part of working with the Christendom Players?
As far as the work goes, what I like best is to coach the actors individually or in small groups, helping them to find their characters and use all their creativity and vocal/physical skills to bring these roles to life. It’s an incredible experience to watch a group of students, some of whom may be inexperienced, bond together and work to create something excellent to glorify God and edify the audiences. It’s also fantastic to be working on these shows with my wife Lily, who has become an important part of the Players.
About how many students are involved in every production?
This varies. Some of the bigger musicals, like Hello,Dolly! or The Scarlet Pimpernel, have a cast of between 30-40, sometimes more. In addition, there are usually anywhere from 10-20 other students working on such things as set construction, makeup, costumes, etc. I always try to pick plays that have at least ten good acting roles.
How many productions are done each year?
Since 1999 we have ordinarily done two plays each school year, one in the fall and one in the spring.
How many plays have the Christendom Players performed?
Well, since I’ve been here there have been more than thirty. But before that, Christendom put on such plays as Barefoot in the Park, The Lark, and The Importance of Being Earnest. As I understand it, the Players as a formal group began in the late 1980’s with The Importance of Being Earnest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Why is it important that a liberal arts school have a drama group?
It’s important both from the performing and the viewing end. No less an authority than Aristotle, writing more than 2,000 years ago, wrote and lectured on the value of theater. Aristotle even provided the basic vocabulary and frame of reference for understanding drama. Doing good theater—or at least doing it as well as our budget and circumstances allow—is very important to the college community. I myself have witnessed, firsthand, the amazing good it does for those involved: in terms of gaining confidence, working together with others toward a common purpose, providing a product that is entertaining and also instructive.
If your interested in performing in Christendom Players productions when you attend Christendom, try out! Auditions are open to all. If you have any further questions about drama at Christendom, please feel free to contact Dr. Patrick Keats at pkeats[at]christendom.edu.
Rugby Secures Consecutive Winning Seasons…
and Then Some!
The Crusader Rugby team took a 4-1 record into the weekend with 3 games left in the season. The next two weeks of competition would determine if the team would continue its solid play under Coach Briggs and finish consecutive winning seasons or if they would lose steam down the home stretch due to being outsized almost every game. The club had already recorded notable wins against Hampden Sydney, Lynchburg, and George Mason when they entered the weekend playing at Washington College on Saturday and Montgomery Community College on Sunday. The two games over the weekend told the tale of the two areas of the team, with Saturday being dominated by the forwards and Sunday being the day of the backs.
The team has taken huge strides since their first game, playing a more team-oriented game. The match against Washington College on Saturday was no exception. As usual the Crusaders were outsized at nearly every position but that was nothing new to the team and they made up for it with outstanding passing, team play, and a never-die attitude. It was a close first half between the two sides. Dominic Donahue played a wonderful game consistently blowing through rucks, making tackles and always being there for the team without stopping. Once the second half came around the Crusaders began the onslaught as they would amass 67 points in the total game. Andrew Hepler and Ben Ranieri played a tremendous match each scoring three tries a piece. It was a team effort with solid play also from Joe Long, Connor Coyne, Dean Dewey, and Conor Knox. Freshman Patrick McKenna also had a solid performance as the bigger and stronger Washington College would be dismantled by the athleticism, speed, and endurance of the Crusaders. The final score: 67-16. With that, the Crusaders notched their second straight winning season.
On Sunday against Montgomery Community College, the Christendom team would take complete control of the match and dominate until the final whistle. Hugh Bratt, Patrick McKenna, Eric Maschue, and Joe Long all played a great game for the Crusaders including strong runs and solid passing. With the team taking complete control early into the game, Coach Briggs was able to balance the rotation and play everyone multiple minutes throughout the game. Everyone contributed to the victory and the score tells the story: Crusaders 93, Montgomery College 0!
“In the two games no one person played amazing, but as a team we played really well and that is why we won so convincingly,” said Tommy Salmon, who completed multiple conversions in the two games.
Since losing their first match of the season, they have rattled off six wins in a row and look to finish the season with another on Saturday against American University in Frederick, MD. These recent victories give the team its second consecutive winning season—a first in the history of the rugby program at Christendom.
The team—working together—charges down field.
Junior Joe Long flies past the opposition.
Don't mess with Senior Jack Donohue
Junior Gabe Schuberg battles for every last inch.
Freshman Patrick McKenna tosses the ball to Sophomore Hugh Bratt.
Sophomore Tommy Salmon takes the ball down field.
Freshman Andrew Hepler slips past his opponent.
Crusader Rugby 2011.
Q. I am only a Junior right now, but I am very interested in possibly attending Christendom after my graduation from high school next year. What are some things I should be doing to prepare for my senior year that would better my chances of being accepted to Christendom, and better my chances of doing well there if I enroll? Thanks!
A. My biggest recommendation for anyone who is seriously considering attending Christendom and is finishing Junior year is to attend one of our “Experience Christendom” Summer Programs (ECSP) or our Latin Immersion Program. I can’t tell you how important these programs are in helping interested students determine if Christendom is the place for them.
During the week-long ECSP program, students are taught by Christendom’s finest professors in Theology, Philosophy, History, and English Literature. You get the opportunity to experience real Christendom College classes and to see what this whole liberal arts business is about. You get to meet some of our current students who will be serving as Program Counselors and see if they are the type of students you want to be around or become. You get to spend time in our residence halls, eat our food, enjoy our surrounding areas, spend time with faculty and staff at their homes, and just have a lot of fun with about 40 other high school students from across the country who are, normally, quite similar to you in beliefs, family background, experiences, and outlook.
During the Latin Immersion Program, students are immersed in an active Latin program where they will be taught by some of the finest "active Latin" teachers in the world. They will also have classes in Theology, Philosophy, History, English, and Astronomy, as well as take part in all of the fun activities listed above in the afternoons and evenings.
Secondly, take your SATs or ACTs as soon as possible, if you haven’t already. We will be having a competition for two full-tuition scholarships this fall, and in order to be eligible to compete, students must have a 2100 or higher on the SAT (all three sections) or an ACT score of 32 or above. The competition will be held sometime in late October or early November and it will be necessary that you have these test scores prior to coming to campus and meeting with the faculty panel (more information about this Padre Pio Full-Tuition Scholarship Competition will be forthcoming on our website as we know more). So, don’t wait until the beginning of October to take the tests because your scores may not come in by the due date. Think about taking it this May or June, or, at latest in September.
Third, start looking around at college websites and reviewing college-guides, such as The Newman Guide, if going to a Catholic college/university is important to you. You should also come up with a list of things you “need” at college (location, major, price, etc), a list of things you “want” at college (certain extra-curricular activities, free laundry, wi-fi, etc), and a list of things you “don’t want” at college (intervisitation, anti-Catholic clubs/groups/speakers, cement wall dorm rooms, etc). Then, once you come up with your lists, call around and talk with Admissions Directors/Counselors at different schools to see what they say about all of these things. At that point, you could probably cross off a couple of your top schools, based on the answers you received. Then, once you have it down to two or three colleges, plan to make a campus visit during the fall semester of senior year.
For Christendom, the admissions committee is looking for a number of things in order to accept you. They are looking for SAT scores of 1650 or above or ACT scores of 24 or above (they do make exceptions, but that is their standard); they want to see well-written and thought-out essays; high school transcripts are important to them and they hope to see a GPA of 3.0 or above; and lastly, they want to see two letters of recommendation – one personal, the other academic. The academic letter of recommendation should be written by someone other than a parent (even if the parent is the main homeschooling teacher), if at all possible.
So, I hope these things help you out in your college selection process and if I can be of any further assistance, do not hesitate to contact me anytime!
Director of Admissions
800.877.5456 ext. 1290
If anyone has questions about applying, visiting, scholarships, financial aid, campus life, rules and regulations, majors, core curriculum, transfer credits, or even about the food here at Christendom, please do not hesitate to contact me at any time.