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A former THS Student Reminisces about the TPAC for A Night to Remember- the 15th Anniversary Celebration

Dear TPACF Board,

As you celebrate the 15-year anniversary of the opening of the Templeton Performing Arts center, I am flooded with memories of my time spent growing up in the comfort of those acoustically crafted walls, and the life changing experiences that happened in and around them. I don’t know if you know this, but I have been an actor professionally since I graduated from Cal State Fullerton, and looking back, I truthfully believe I am on this path as a result of many moments created and experienced throughout my life-namely those experienced in that building. 

I found the sanctity of a dark theater to be an oasis from the chaos of high school, joyfully surrounded by my classmates seeking the same reprieve. The community of a high school production was where I understood how to navigate relationships with peers and teachers on a professional level, and that underneath all the magic of theater; there is a lot of hard work to be done. Don’t get me wrong, they don’t call it a ‘play’ for nothing, but I learned in the TPAC just how many worker bees are needed to create harmony in the hive.

 It was in the comfort of the TPAC that my appreciation for the theater began to take root. I labored hours over a garment I altered for a cast mate.  I learned how to set up and break down a full audio system, a skill I use to this day when creating independent work. Oh yeah, and I had my first kiss in the prop room. (Sorry Mr. Landers)

But the moment that stands out to me most, was during my freshman year of High School (2005-yikes) when THS produced Footloose. I was the youngin of the cast, a side character friend of the leading lady, and tasked with the understudy role of Rusty, who performs “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” solo. Growing up in dance and theater I knew how it felt to be on stage, I knew the regular rush I felt at curtain call, I knew the excitement before a big all cast number. But it wasn’t until I was given the opportunity to command the stage for a full number that I knew I was doing what I was put on this planet to do. As I finished the last few notes of the song, something new happened to me: my eyes filled with tears. I couldn’t hold them back. In that moment, I knew this was exactly what I was meant to do with my life, forever. 

I was asked to sing at the groundbreaking ceremony of the TPAC when I was only 11 years old, and I believe that on that day, a part of me was planted into the foundation of that building. My seed was diligently watered throughout the rest of my time in Templeton, with choral concerts, plays, dance rehearsals, until I ultimately blossomed into a 17 year old with a plan for her life: knowing I want to make my mark on this world with art, and knowing I have the chops and experience to help navigate myself through the industry. All thanks to Templeton School District's commitment to the arts. 

Thank you for being part of this. And to the donors, the administrators, and architects dedicated to creating and maintaining this space- THANK YOU. I only hope in the future the walls of the TPAC will continue to inspire children to find their niche in the arts, whether technical, artistic, or just a supporter of the arts in their chosen community. 

Thank you again for this gift, all of you. 

Jenifer Olivares

Class of 2008

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