Franklin News - Feature Story

Feature Story

Fund established in memory of UGA student Martin Holubar will support theatre students

Friday, January 27, 2006

Kim Cretors

Director of Communications and Events

706-542-1168

Athens, Ga  – A young person’s 20th birthday is a major milestone – one most likely met with joy, enthusiasm and maybe even a little drama.  All those qualities could be found in Martin Holubar, an up-and-coming theatre student at the University of Georgia who would have reached that milestone on Jan. 31.   The rising sophomore from Marietta died unexpectedly in his sleep from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) on July 21 last year.

In memory of Holubar’s love of drama and of UGA, his family and friends have established the Martin Oldrich Holubar Scholarship in Theatre and Film Studies, which will benefit UGA undergraduate students.

In reflecting on Holubar’s life, his family recalled that he mentioned there were not many scholarship opportunities for drama students. A statement released by the family said Martin was concerned that donors may be overlooking the fine arts and had vowed that “when he became famous he wanted to give money to UGA and his high school to help fund scholarships for students based on their talent and passion for theatre.

“When Martin died suddenly our family remembered this because Martin was very good at repeating his views many times,” the family said, “and we decided that Martin’s love for the University of Georgia’s theatre and film studies department should benefit the scholarship so we asked that donations be made in lieu of flowers.”

According to his family, Holubar’s passion for theatre was evident through his singing and dancing, which started at an early age.  He eventually progressed from being a shy student at his first Drama Club meeting at North Cobb High School to being the president during his senior year.

Holubar and his best friend, Justin Dean, created a Commedia Del’Arte troupe called I Piccoli Commediante from start almost to finish – Holubar died the day before the troupe’s final performance this summer. 

“I was lucky to have Martin as my best friend,” says Dean. “Every minute spent with him had an energy that he carried with him on stage and off.  It is fitting that one of the legacies of his love for people and his passion for theatre would be this scholarship, which will help other students who share his passion.”

Studying theatre more in depth once he began attending UGA, the freshman told his family that theatre would be his life’s work.  During what turned out to be his first and only year attending the university, Holubar acted in two main stage productions, a rare accomplishment for a freshman.

“In his one short year as a theatre student here at UGA, Martin made an extraordinary impression,” says David Saltz, head of the theatre and film studies department. “He was overflowing with talent and enthusiasm, and his warmth and kind-heartedness earned him many friends. His untimely death devastated our students and faculty.”

Many tributes have been made to Holubar, who, according to everyone who knew him, was an extraordinary and generous young man never without a smile and always willing to give of himself.   In fact, it was Holubar’s concern for children and those living in poverty that fueled his dream to enter the Peace Corps upon graduation.

In an interview with the student newspaper The Red & Black, friend Lindsay Tingley said many “people in the Campus Lions Club were extremely close friends with [Martin] and wanted to do something in his honor.”  So several of Holubar’s friends and members of the club created “Martin’s Movies,” a series of screenings on campus that feature his favorite films; the proceeds raised are donated to the scholarship fund.

Additionally, Holubar’s high school alma mater recently dedicated its theater in his honor.  In the theatre is a portrait of Holubar under which is the saying “A child of wonder . . . a man of character . . . an artist of passion.”

In keeping with Holubar’s dreams of Broadway, his family and friends attended a performance of his favorite play Rent last month.  After the show, they were ushered backstage for a wall signing and dedication.  The group met the cast and stood on stage for an exclusive view of the theatre. 

In a final act of generosity, Holubar’s eyes were donated to the Georgia Eye Bank, enabling two young people to regain sight.  He was honored by the organization as its “Donor of the Year,” and his photograph is featured on the Georgia Eye Bank calendar, which is distributed to thousands of citizens across the state.

To contribute to the Martin Oldrich Holubar Scholarship in Theatre and Film Studies or for more information, contact Linda Bachman at 706/542-4658 or lbachman@franklin.uga.edu. To contribute on line, visit this link.

For more information contact Linda Bachman, 706-583-5524, lbachman@uga.edu.

  

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Kim Cretors

Director of Communications and Events

706-542-1168