Chani (left) pictured with Director Hugh Woodridge.

Name: Chani Wereley

Year of Graduation: 2013

Current School: Catholic University of America

What's your news!?: I currently work in DC in the fitness community while pursuing my career in musical theatre. This summer, I'm working on Bonnie and Clyde with Monumental Theatre Company as a member of the ensemble and as the Bonnie understudy. One of my recent shows, American Idiot (The Extraordinary Girl), played at Keegan Theatre and was nominated for a few Helen Hayes Awards, including best production and best ensemble. This past year, I did a show at school, a couple cabarets, and a reading of Water by the Spoonful at Olney Theatre Center. I also had the opportunity to come back to YAA as a mentor for The Circle of Life concert at Strathmore!

Chani (center in red skirt) on stage at YAA's  The Circle of Life.

Chani (center in red skirt) on stage at YAA's The Circle of Life.

Tell us about something you learned at YAA and applied to your life today.: I learned to never give up. The last show I did with YAA as a student was as Kim in Miss Saigon/Madama Butterfly. During that process, I was rejected from the musical theatre programs I applied to. Rolando and Kris helped teach me to accept my failures with grace, and to use them to keep pushing towards my victories. Through their guidance, I learned resilience. I learned patience. I learned humility. I watched Rolando and Kris build YAA from the ground up (not without a lot of help and support, of course), and their work ethic inspired me then, and continues to drive me now.

Are you an alum? We'd love to spotlight you. Just fill out this form!