Our Fall 2015 Undergrad Crew is finally here at Villa Godiola, and we could not be more thrilled! Having just started their second week of classes, we asked four of our Physical Theatre students to reflect on their goals and expectations for the coming semester.
Taylor Hunsberger (Muhlenberg College, PA)
Before arriving in Arezzo, I had absolutely no expectations of what the city was going to be like or what Italian culture as a whole was going to be like. I was pleasantly surprised by the small town and the homey atmosphere we are surrounded by. The classes are already in full swing and kicking my ass at that, but in the best way possible. My body feels like it’s going to change and I’m willing to let that happen. Overall, I am excited to see what all this city and this school has to offer me. This is not like anything else I’ve ever experienced and I’ve only been here for six days so far. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead.
Chris Truini (Wheaton College, MA)
As I stepped out of the cab, my breath was taken away by the picture book Italian landscape that stretched out before me. I watched the sun set behind the hills on the far side of the valley, and I could not believe that this would be my home for the next three months. I also realized that this precise moment was shared by every student who had ever set foot on the Villa’s sacred campus, not to mention every student that will pass through in the years to come. So, as unique and incredibly personal this experience will be, I realized my time here would also be part of something much greater than what this ensemble and I will learn in the coming months. And that instant feeling of community and family is what I find so exhilarating about this magical campus tucked away in a Tuscan hillside. Now the first week has disappeared and I’m just as bewildered by my surroundings, even as I begin to find my way around the ancient city, one gelateria at a time. I’m sure, however, with time even that glossy wonderment will begin to fade as I get more and more accustomed to this new place. I hope, though, that I never lose sight of the reality that I am just one small member of a global community of artists who all chose to go way out of their comfort zones in pursuit of their craft. And that is as just as special and irreplaceable as any Italian vista.
Julie Amento (Muhlenberg College, PA)
I can’t believe I’m finally here in Arezzo! I’ve been looking forward to coming here since freshmen year and now that the time has finally arrived it seems so surreal. Even though we are only finishing our first week at ADA, I have already had so many amazing experiences. The first one that comes to mind is eating in the Mensa. I already expected Italian food to be delicious, but the cooks at ADA have exceeded my expectations. The food is incredible here. I have especially enjoyed the pasta! The pasta tastes so much better here than at home and I can definitely see myself getting used to eating pasta every night (and then going into town and finishing off the night with some gelato). Another amazing experience that comes to my mind is the movement work I have done here so far. Our movement class has been a great way to start getting more familiar with our bodies. We’ve had 2 classes so far and first we started off with running on a path through the beautiful Italian countryside, which was definitely a challenge but we stayed as a group making sure no one was left behind and we moved and pushed through it together. Another great activity we’ve done in class is standing face-to-face with a partner of relatively the same height and playing keep away with a water bottle, using your feet to pivot–but not to step—toward and away from the other person. The exercise focuses a lot on reacting to your partner’s movements and moving with your partner almost as if in slow motion—like moving through water. My competitive streak definitely comes out in this exercise and I can definitely see the beginnings of our movement improv education starting this week. I’m ready to see what the next week holds for us as we dive deeper into our ADA experience!
Evan Richter (Muhlenberg College, PA)
It wasn’t until I was standing atop the teatrino, watching the sun set over city of Arezzo that it finally hit me where I am. People would always say how beautiful the views are at the villa, how amazing the food is in town, or how welcoming the people of Arezzo are. But even with all the hype, I was not prepared for the real thing. This place is extremely special, and it only took me a week to realize it. Looking ahead I cannot wait to see what else this place has to offer, both the Accademia and Italy itself. But through it all, the sore legs and the late nights, it is clear that I am in for a wild ride, and I couldn’t be happier.