This week Peyton, Ben, Michael, Maris, and Emma share some of their favorite memories and experiences from the semester!
Peyton Smith, Coastal Carolina University
Though we are reaching the tragic end of the semester, some of the most exciting things have happened in these last few weeks. Italian was everyones first final, filling the mornings with HILARIOUS skits covering dancing in a discoteca, a dating show, a drama filled cooking show, and even a fully original operetta (thank you to our brilliant music students for that one). Next came the final music concert which left everyone in tears and overwhelmed by our peers’ talent. This week, after every student was done stressing about a different final paper, we are able to focus on juries and final collaborative projects filling the villa with a lot of energy. This is the last week of all theater and music students here together and it is a special reminder of how close a community of dynamic artists can grow together in such a short period of time. Next week the music students will be headed back to the states and I think I can speak for all of the theater students when I say that the ringing of various beautiful voices and instruments will be missed. As a year-long student myself, I will truly miss it throughout next semester too.
To end this post I wanted to mention an influential philosophy class we had last week. Emijilia asked the key question “why are you all artists?” and gave us the time to one-by-one give our answers and explain how we ended up studying here, so far from home for every one of us. Naturally each person from our various backgrounds had their own story of wanting to make an impact on the world, or having an outlet, or how art was some kind of salvation. But whats really crazy to me is that every person in this program ended up here, impacting each others journey to becoming the artists we’re destined to be. We all came from such different places and now, after leaving Accademia, we’ll go our separate ways and carry a little piece of each other just how you do all great people you come in contact with. And though we are all aware of the looming goodbyes in our future, it just strengthens what a monumental semester we’ve all had here together.
Ben Dawn-Cross, Muhlenberg College
The whole semester has been an incredible experience — each class is like a playground for expression, and playing the game has been a wild ride. However, if I really have to narrow it down, I can think of two parts that were the most eye-opening. One was the week that my group did the Voice in the Mask class, alongside Kevin Crawford’s teachings. Both Dory and Kevin helped me find parts of my voice which I didn’t even know existed, and what I learned has been an invaluable part of my work at the accademia — most of my pieces have involved extended vocal technique in some way. But more than just learning technique, I realised how invaluable the individuality of my voice is; by allowing it to sound like myself, rather than imitate someone else, a whole universe of possibilities suddenly became available to me, one that influences me both as an actor as well as a singer.
The other part was when Tomaz Grom visited; as a percussionist working largely in a jazz idiom, improvised music is one of my passions, and watching Tomaz work was mesmerising — his willingness to push the typical vocabulary of sound was infectious. I myself had a lot of fun experimenting with the instruments he brought out, and getting the chance to use them, as well as my voice, while collaborating. The whole point was to listen, and my ears were as open as ever, just trying to take it all in.
Emma Kowalchuk, Muhlenberg College
I can’t believe how fast our time here is flying! Each day is so filled with new experiences and ideas, but the weeks feel so fast. I’m excited to see what will come from our final piece, now that the structure is starting to form. I’ve especially enjoyed seeing the development of everyone’s Commedia pieces as people become more comfortable with the structure and improvising! Traveling has also been amazing, last weekend I took a trip to Rome to see all the historical sites! I can’t believe how much I have learned and seen over the past few months and I’m so excited to bring it back to the States!
Michael Civitano, Muhlenberg College
This week has been absolutely crazy!! I’m reflecting upon the fact that we only have 2 weeks left from today, and i can’t believe how quickly time has flown by. I feel like it was yesterday that I was just arriving here, ready to create, and not sure of what the semester would have in store. Little did I know that I would be forming so many new friendships, learning tools and skills that I had never experienced before, traveling to 7 different countries and all throughout Italy, and having just the best 4 months of my life. Although I miss certain things about home, leaving this beautiful place will definitely be bittersweet. I have lived here and have forgotten so much about what it’s like to be back home, in New York, and attend school at Muhlenberg. It will definitely be a big adjustment. But words cannot express how thankful I am for this incredible experience, and the memories and bonds I have formed here will definitely stay with me for a long time, if not for the rest of my life. Thanks Arezzo!! Gonna soak up these last 2 weeks and go out with a bang!
Maris Quagliata, Muhlenberg College
This week at the Villa has been filled with insanity getting ready for our collaborative final with the music students. We’ve all worked very hard on creating actions for this. The actions began with an awake dream where we closed our eyes for 20 minutes and spoke to someone about what we were seeing. Then we took those and created something from it. It could be a poem, a song, a dance, a movement, anything. We presented them and Nhandan put us in groups to meld our pieces together. From that we’ve now incorporated the music students into those pieces and will be performing them Friday!