We are midway through Week 8 of the second semester here at the ADA, and as a One-Year Program student, I’m finally beginning to be struck by how much I am going to miss this opportunity. As we move further into the second half of our final semester, we have spent most of our time developing our end-of-year performance. Being given nearly 20 hours a week to work on devising our final artistic project in collaboration with my classmates has made me finally feel as though I am already a true artist, not just a student.
Working at the ADA allows you to mature from a student of theatre to a working theatre artist, and when I leave, I am going to deeply cherish all the time I was gifted not only to hone my craft through training but also through active development of new work and performance opportunities. In no other scenario have I been able to develop so much as either an artist or a person. In the United States, I have never been able to participate in six performance opportunities a semester!
I have also been able to establish so many connections with professionals in the field due to the ADA: all of our guest artists and teachers share their contact information with students, and encourage us to reach out to them whenever we feel compelled. At my home university, I am unable to build these sorts of networks in my artistic path, which will be necessary to form to be able to continue working after college. Going back home will certainly cause me to feel an astonishing amount of culture shock: it’s hard to believe that merely six months ago, I was feeling overwhelmed and homesick, completely alienated both from the conservatory and the Italian lifestyle. Now, the villa has become home to me, the culture familiar, the conservatory style of training a joy instead of a burden. I cannot express enough how thankful I am to have spent my year at the ADA.