Five hours of walking and all that was there was a pomegranate tree. On our first Sunday here, back in September, Jess and I attempted to find a gym. According to Google Maps it was 3 miles away, which isn’t that horrible of a walk. It’s definitely a nice warm up. We trekked into Arezzo and immediately got lost. But we found areas we never knew existed. There was a fish market, a tiny tree on a tiny hill, and a store called “MultiAss.” When we finally arrived at the red blip on Jess’ GPS, all that was there was a pomegranate tree. So we each ate a pomegranate and walked back home. When creating, Michele taught us not to think of what we want our final product to be. If we have that point of arrival in mind, it just makes it impossibly difficult to arrive there. A process full of accidental discoveries can lead you to a destination you didn’t have in mind but one is still pretty delicious.
– Joseph Baca
At large, the traveling I’ve done while in Italy has made me a more well rounded person. I’ve seen beautiful sights, met interesting people, and most importantly, have gotten lost and confused more times than I can count. Between the difference in language, culture, custom, and the sheer newness of the place, there are many factors that can cause stress and test your ability to problem solve. In addition to the stresses of travel putting me out of my comfort zone, I now truly see the value of a travel partner–two heads are better than one, and it’s far easier to go through something stressful with someone by your side than it is to go through it alone. Not only are these important life lessons, but they have contributed to my art immensely. Since I have been tasked with creating a show from scratch with two other people this semester, these are skills that I bring to the table every day while devising new art with them. I’ve become a more generous and efficient collaborator since my adventures abroad.
– Jessica Bryant
Studying abroad for a full year in Arezzo has taken me to some very cool places. I have gone to places like Cortona, Venice, Rome, Florence, and Cinque Terre. But out of all the places I have been, Arezzo has been my home. I have spent the majority of my time here in the city of Arezzo. Just being around town and interacting with the people has taught me a lot. I am terrible at speaking Italian which makes going into town a tad difficult, but I still make an effort. Trying to communicate with others and having these misunderstandings has taught me that it is very important to make your art understandable to everyone no matter what language you speak. Using your body language and your voice to tell your stories can be great ways to make your art easy for anyone to connect with. If you make what you are doing with your body clear enough it helps to break the communication barrier. I have also learned a lot from going to open mic nights in town at SpazioSeme. I have seen some really awesome and inspirational pieces there. Most importantly, from these pieces I have learned that it’s important to have fun in your work.
– Karli Cole
While studying abroad in Arezzo I’ve seen a lot of neat places. I’ve of course been to Florence, Rome, and Venice, but I’ve also visited Lucca, Assisi, Cinque Terre, and more. Outside of Italy during break times I have traveled to Paris, Geneva, London and Ireland.
Being in Europe has enlightened me not only to the new cultures I’m experiencing, but it has made me more aware of my own. This has been encouraging my worldwide sense of understanding. Since being here I’ve wanted to develop theatre that bridges language and culture barriers. To make art that speaks to a wide variety of people. I’ve been inspired to explore physical story telling that doesn’t rely on text to bring an experience to the audience.
– Stephen Craig