The project: In this autobiographical examination of how we deal with emotions, Mr. Holmberg brings a metaphor to life. As he recounts actual events from his childhood and teen years, we see that he has literally bottled up his emotions in jars and stored them on a shelf on stage. As he matures, he grows to understand that his approach is not healthy, and that he has to change his ways. “I realize that I have to take the jars off of the shelf and start opening up to people,” he explains.
Notable quote: “This brought up so many emotions and brought up so many things I did in the past, because everything I talked about in the play was a true event that happened to me.”
His biggest challenge as a scholar: “This is the first time I have ever written a script, though I’ve performed in many plays. One of the most challenging parts for me was grappling with the idea of keeping it true to myself and opening up. The play was about how I kept jars on a shelf, so doing this play was acknowledging the fact that I do have that problem, and that I need to fix it myself, which I’m still doing.”
Surprising discovery: “Originally, I thought that I’m just writing this play for other people’s entertainment. But after I finished it, I found out that it was actually helping me as a person. I found out things about myself that I didn’t even know. I’d be writing it, and then I’d be like, oh, this has happened to me and this is how I feel about it, and I’d never acknowledged how that happened or how I felt about it until I was writing the play. It was a great opportunity for me to realize stuff about myself.”
Tip for future scholars: “Make sure that you keep on track with your schedule, because the work can definitely come up quick behind you. [Performing arts teacher] Emily [Ditkovski] has a calendar we are supposed to set up, then every week we get as much done as we need to, so that by the end of week eight, it’s show time and you are ready to present. I fell behind a little bit, but then I caught up in the last couple weeks. But what would have helped my stress level is doing everything week by week, like I said I was going to.”