Griffin O’Connor, Muhlenberg College
I had to do a double take this morning when I glanced at the calendar and noticed that we only had two more days in Italy. It’s been a long time coming but the end of the semester is finally here. There are so many things I am going to miss, from Dal Moro and Trattoria Mazzoni in Arezzo, to the rigorous class schedule and the incredible teachers here at the ADA. Perhaps the biggest thing I am going to miss from this semester are the people. I came into this program knowing nine of them well, however through spending a little over three monthsin the same villa with the same forty people, you begin to create quite the little community. Though there were rough days, I felt constantly supported and encouraged by everyone. We have all formed something very special between one another and I hope that these connections don’t stop by the time we return home, but instead continue to fester and develop despite the distance. Before I arrived in September I was told that the ADA was going to have a profound effect on my life, and I can say with full confidence that it did. I hope to take the skills I have learned here and apply them to all of the work I do next. As for all of the friends I have made while here, don’t worry, we’ll see each other again. And if we don’t; then bye everyone it’s been fun!
Dara Potts, Coastal Carolina University
Ryan Connelly, Muhlenberg College
I’ve always hated endings. The endings of movies, the ending of plays, the endings of books–every time it ends I’m left with an emptiness that I long to fill. Yet, as I’m nearing the end of my time here in Arezzo, I realize I’m not filled with this emptiness, but rather I’m filled instead with the people and places that now inhabit my mind. Arezzo, and Europe as a whole, are experiences that will never leave you. It’s where I’ve made lifelong friends, where I’ve made amazing work, and where a part of my heart will stay forever. So, it’s not the end, it’s the beginning of something bigger and better, and I have Arezzo to thank for that.
Megan Muratore, Skidmore College
Everyone I know who came back from this program told me that it would be a life changing experience–so, naturally, I had extremely high expectations for my Italian adventure. These past three months have included some of my highest highs, and my lowest lows, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. I’ll miss the beautiful sunsets overlooking the Tuscan countryside, the multitudes of pasta, pizza, bombolone, and tiramisù, and most importantly, the people who make up the family that is the ADA. I will, however, certainly not miss the hill leading up to the villa and the inconsistent wifi–but, alas, nothing can be perfect. I’ve been doing theater since I was ten years old, and I have never felt such a sense of collective with other theater artists as I have during my time here. I have learned so much about how I work with others, as well as how I identify as an artist, and I am already looking forward to using the knowledge I’ve gained this semester in all of my work going forward. To Monica, Giangiacomo, Nhandan, Dory, Becca, Chris, and everyone at the ADA: thank you for your patience and sharing your wealth of knowledge with us. To my fellow students: I love all of you, and can’t wait to see the amazing work you do in the future. To Arezzo: a piece of my heart will always be here–thank you for everything.
Amani Huell, Coastal Carolina University
Even though we are in the finally stages of preparation for our final presentation, it is still hard for me to accept that the program is almost over. I will always treasure these past three months as I have learned so much about myself and my work. I was nervous coming here because I have never considered myself a “mover”. Even so, I made it my goal to do the best that I can and to make work that I’m proud of. It has been a challenging semester and what I’ve made hasn’t been prefect, yet I am still proud of myself as I have learned more than I ever could have imagined. My only regret is that I’m not staying for the full year. It pains me knowing that I am leaving in two days as I feel I am finally making progress and am stopping before it can be realized. Though I am happy to see my friends and family, I will truly miss the people here at ADA. The ensemble we have created here is the most magical part of all. I hope I will be able to return soon. Until then I will enjoy good wifi and my cat back home.