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Q&A with Flowery Branch High student Matthew Antoci, who attended GHP
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Matthew Antoci and other theater students gather on the main stage shortly before performing “Shakespeare: Love Power.”

What did you attend GHP for?

Theater performance


How was your experience (positive or negative)?

Saying my GHP experience was positive is an understatement. I received the opportunity to make fantastic friends while tediously perfecting the aspects of my education I am most passionate about. GHP was an awakening experience for me and who I am as a person.


Can you tell me what your day looked like?

Each morning my roommate and I would get up at 6 a.m. (the brave few of us on our hall) and migrated to the dining hall before it opened and lines formed. From 8 to 1 p.m. I would study my major area (Theatre), then go to lunch. At 2:30, minors started and lasted till 4:30. After that you could attend seminars or, if you're a theatre major, go to rehearsal. Each night there was a different activity or concert to attend, but most of my time was spent in a 5-10 rehearsal with a dinner break in between.


Are you still in contact with people you met in Valdosta?

Of course! Teachers and students alike! The connections I made this summer were some of the strongest and most useful relationships I’ve ever made.


What did you learn?

Some highlights as a theater major were our works on classical texts, mask movement, contact improvisation, etc. As a Communicative Arts minor we studied things like Stand-Up Comedy, a week on Othello, and society’s rites of passage.


Is there a specific end result that was visible to you?

Our theater productions were fantastic if I do say so myself. Also the academic majors turned out some remarkable presentations, too.


Were there any entertaining things that happened?

The students being trapped inside buildings during the many thunderstorms was really entertaining because that forced people to come up with impromptu games and activities, which was the time when GHP became most interesting. When it was spontaneous.


Were there events for students on weekends?

Definitely. Always seminars, rehearsals, etc. You went to your major on Saturday.


What did you minor in?

Communicative arts


How has GHP changed your outlook on your future or your career?

Not really, it has absolutely solidified my decision for my future though. I traveled down there this summer with a pretty clear vision of what I wanted after high school, and the experience did not necessarily clarify that decision for me, it showed me what my future would be like. Being surrounded by remarkably talented people allowed me to understand and grow excited for what my future will hold.


Would you recommend GHP to other students that have been nominated? Why or why not?

If you are socially capable and hold a close passion for your particular area, absolutely. GHP will bring you the best summer you could imagine by surrounding you with people as excited about learning and exploring as yourself.


What is your advice to future GHP students?

Make the most of every moment given to you: Go, see and do everything you can get your hands on! Make friends and pack sriracha.


Were the classes difficult or relaxing? Elaborate.

If you’re the kind of person that wants an easy class, GHP is not for you. Many times my theater instructors refused to answer questions in order to get us to explore and reason on our own or with each other. They wanted us to, given the right tools, teach ourselves. Yes you will be exhausted, but GHP is to challenge who you are as a person and learner. Don't go to Valdosta if you want to stay within your comfort zone.


Did you find one subject that you  are interested in pursuing in the future?

Theater!

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