Welcome to the Arts

When I arrived at Villa Duchesne in seventh grade, I was hopelessly shy, obsessed with music, and enjoyed no other arts. At first, I was upset when I learned that I would be taking a Fine Arts class and a Theatre class. I couldn’t even draw a straight line, let alone craft a teapot with my bare hands, and regular theatre was out of the question as I would have to speak in front of others. But, these classes weren’t like any of my previous experiences with the fine and stage arts. They were actually fun! Even if I couldn’t form a clay rope without rolling it too thin, I was making friends. Even if I stuttered like a motorboat through my lines, I was learning to speak in public.

More importantly, I was friends with my teachers. My middle school theatre teacher is still a very good friend of mine today. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy the art teachers at my grade school, but now I was really learning. Not just how to properly pronounce “enunciate,” but valuable life lessons. I learned how to deliver dialogue properly, and consequently how to speak more effectively with the people around me. I learned how to overcome stage fright, and also how to recognize a rational fear from an irrational one.

Today, while I’m not on the stage, I’m proud to say that I have run the microphones and mixing board for each of the Villa Duchesne productions for the past two years. I am proud to say that by broadening my artistic horizons, I have found my own voice.

Come to Villa Duchesne and find yours today!

Emily Gieszelmann 
Emily Gieszelmann '14
Thespian Society


  • Villa Duchesne and Oak Hill School
  • 801 South Spoede Road
  • Saint Louis, MO 63131-2699
  • (P) 314.432.2021
  • (F) 314.432.0199
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