With just about one month left of the Fall 2015 semester, we asked four theatre students to reflect on their favorite memories thus far during their study abroad experience here in Arezzo. Read on to hear what stories Chris, Evan, Julie, and Taylor will take home with them!
Chris Truini (Wheaton College, MA)
Yikes! Suddenly the end is in sight! With just a scant three weeks remaining, I suppose I should take a moment to reflect before we plunge into finals week and the inevitable tearful goodbyes. I am immensely grateful for the past two months I’ve spent immersed in this physical theatre monastery perched high on San Fabiano. Though sometimes, if I don’t have time to get into town for a few days, it can feel a little claustrophobic, but the close quarters also behave like a creative pressure cooker, taking all of our inspirations and passions and melding them together into one creation that has a flavor completely it’s own. Each artist residing and studying and eating within the walls of the villa brings their own flavors and traditions and over the course of hours and hours of contact, the lines dividing us upon our arrival begin to blur. And once I’m gone, there is no doubt in my mind that I’m going to miss the particular gustatory experience of this particular ensemble stew, especially the distinctly Tuscan influence our environment has had on our flavor. But I know that somewhere, deep in my palate, I will always carry the aftertaste of this delicious, scrumptious ensemble. Mmmm. Ensemble. Is it time for lunch yet?
Evan Richter (Muhlenberg College, PA)
I can not fathom that a month from now my time at the Accademia dell’Arte will be over. The past few months have been the most influential, most tiring, and most incredible months of my life, and I try to hold on to every moment of the day knowing that soon it will be over. Looking back I don’t really know where to start. There have been the amazing classes like Voice, Movement, and Commedia that have pushed me in more ways than I can count, both mentally and physically. Or the incredible people that I have had the privilege to get so close to in such a short time, or even Italy itself, where the food is just as incredible as the locals I have met. I have always wanted a place where I can just create, a place where I can use every aspect of myself in my work and I have finally found it. Let’s just hope all the things I have learned here don’t disappear when I return to the states. Luckily, I don’t think they will!
Julie Amento (Muhlenberg College, PA)
As our time at the Accademia has started to come to a close, I’ve really been reminiscing on my time here thus far. I’m flipping through the picture book of memories in my mind and so many memories pop out at me. I’m noticing that what most of the memories have in common is a strong sense of community. Before I came to the Accademia dell’Arte, I was very nervous about coming to this program because I didn’t know/wasn’t friends with many people coming here and I was worried I was going to be left out a lot or not be able to reach out to my fellow peers. However, ADA has proven me completely wrong. All the memories that have really stuck with me involve me forging bonds with my fellow classmates—getting to know them better through our Voice, Movement and Commedia work, or as simple as having conversations and making memories in the living room or the limonaia. Before this program, acting-wise I felt so small. Here, the memories that I cherish are the ones where in the creative process of making and performing art my peers have made me feel so large. They have collaborated with me to make some really great pieces that I am very proud of us for and which have helped nourish my creative mind; they have persevered with me when we all felt stuck and pushed through to find so much more; they have cheered me on and been a safety net of support when I stepped out of my comfort zone and was feeling unsure; and they most of all have boosted my self-confidence as a performer and made me realize that it is okay to have faith in my abilities as a performer and as a human being. There are so many memories to list that I can’t even begin to write about them all here. As one of my favorite authors, John Green, once wrote, “My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.” Thank you Accademia dell’Arte for being such an open and vibrant community. I can’t wait to see where this last month will take us!
Taylor Hunsberger (Muhlenberg College, PA)
Just thinking about the memories I’ve had here is going to make me an emotional wreck. People who have come here before tell you that this place is going to change you, but I don’t think you realize it until it’s almost over. We have just a little under a month left and it’s heartbreaking because this place is the most magical place on earth. The sense of community that we have felt here is like nothing else and I think it’s what makes this program so special. The best moments here have been the little things. The projects we’ve worked on together, the compliments here and there from students or teachers, or just the endless support we have for each other. A few of us performed at an Open Space night at the local jazz club, Spazio Seme, last weekend and it was just such a beautiful space, and the people who were all able to came to see us and support us and what we love doing. That night is one thing that will always stick out to me. It was the point that made me realize what all of those people before us warned us of. They know what this program does and now so do we.