• Introducing Kristen Wendt and Will Dameron

    by  • August 17, 2015 • Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Uncategorized, Undergraduate Programs • 0 Comments

    Every two years the Accademia dell’Arte invites recently graduated ADA Alumni to apply for the Student Life and Technical Coordinator positions. This opportunity gives two alumni the ability to further their artistic education and expand their perspective in an international environment while contributing to a growing non-profit organization. These two-year appointments are highly competitive. This year the ADA is proud to present Kristen Wendt, Student Life Coordinator and Guardian, and Will Dameron, Technical Coordinator. We are very excited to have both of them join the Accademia staff this Fall look forward to the dynamic skills and experience they bring to the ADA community.


    Kristen Wendt is a recent graduate of Muhlenberg College with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre (Acting Concentration), and a Pre K-4 Pennsylvania Teacher Certificate. Born and raised in Monroe, Connecticut, she has always been an avid practitioner of the arts. Kristen completed the Physical Theatre program at the Accademia dell’Arte in the fall of 2013, where she was reminded that she is never more fully alive than when she is singing. She is thrilled to be returning to Arezzo as a member of the ADA staff. Upon her return to the states in 2017, Kristen aspires to merge her two passions by becoming an elementary educator, using art as a primary teaching tool. She also hopes to volunteer her time to implement extracurricular programming in music and theatre for schools facing budgetary restrictions.

    What are you looking forward to?

    What I loved so much about my semester here as a student was forming deep and meaningful friendships with my peers in the program. Therefore, although I’m of course excited to travel and to eat delicious Italian food, I am MOST excited about all of the young artists that I will get to meet over the next two years, and to take on my new role as a leader for them on this exciting new journey they’re about to begin.

    Why did you apply for this position?

    This school transformed me in a major way when I was a student in the fall of 2013. For that reason, I jumped at the chance to offer my gifts and talents to this program for two years. I wanted to give back to the community that gave so much to me. Also, though I intend to dedicate my life to the pursuit of a career in elementary education, I feel that taking this time to grow myself as an artist, as a mentor figure for students, and as an independent human in the world will make me a better teacher in the long run. (Plus, who wouldn’t want to spend two years living in Tuscany in their early 20s?!)

    What do you think you will bring to the position?

    I think my education background gives me a specific skill set that will help me fill this position in a meaningful way. I am organized and practical, I am good at relating to others and making every voice in a group feel heard, and I am ridiculously, incurably enthusiastic and joyful in everything I do. I hope to be a sounding board and a source of comfort for students, and to offer my persepctive as a reference point to help encourage them to make the most of this incredible learning experience.

    Will Headshot

    Will Dameron, originally from Greenville, SC, first came to the Accademia through a study abroad experience in the spring of 2014. He holds a BFA in Theatre with a focus in design and production from Coastal Carolina University. Will is a scenic and projection designer, as well as a visual artist, carpenter, electrician and welder. His principal passions in the world of theatre are technical production and the development of new works, and his production work has been seen regionally in the U.S. at The Santa Fe Opera, The Illinois Shakespeare Festival, The Warehouse Theater, and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater. When not backstage, he can be found climbing, reading, writing, or playing the guitar.

    What are you looking forward to?

    Well, this will be the first time that my name will be on an office door, so I’m very excited about that.

    I’m also looking forward to eating in the mensa and around town again, improving my Italian language skills, talking philosophy and politics with Scott and Emilija, collaborating with the students, faculty and local groups like Spazioseme to make exciting and interesting work, and trying to convince Monica to go to the Star Wars premiere with me in December in full costume.

    Why did you apply for this position?

    I applied to work at the ADA first and foremost because of the people. When I studied here in 2014, one of the first things that caught my attention was the group of fantastic folks running the place, both faculty and staff. Here I was, a young aspiring theatrical designer who for some reason decided that the best possible option for personal advancement would be to travel to a different country, where I didn’t speak the language or know the culture, and take a bunch of intensive-study acting classes with people who wanted to act for a living and had been studying it for years before that point. I was definitely the greenest person in the room in every one of these classes, but the faculty and staff never made me feel that way. They pushed me and challenged me to grow every single day, and outside of classes would often sit down and talk to me about how I hoped to apply these studies to my other pursuits.

    The open-minded encouragement, positivity, and radiant passion of these people for the work that they were doing and their absolute refusal to give anything but their best to whatever challenge was in front of them inspired me and made me want to be a part of their team. Everyone, from the professors to the administration to the support staff seems to be pointed towards the same goal: making the Accademia the place to be for young and growing artists. So naturally, I couldn’t resist applying for the job as soon as I saw the opening.

    What do you think you will bring to the position?

    Lots of very, very bad puns.

    But in all seriousness, after working professionally on the production side of theater for four years and recently completing my pursuit of a degree in it, I am excited to bring what I have learned there to the table here. Being a modestly experienced carpenter, welder, and electrician and an experienced tinkerer I am looking forward to working with what we already have at the Accademia to build and improve upon our inventory and capabilities. I am also excited about helping young artists learn how to solve the technical challenges presented by any devising process-be it in theater, dance, music, or visual art- in interesting, safe and affordable ways.


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