• Meet MFA Cohort IV: Emily Childers, Richard Martinez and Elyse Brown

    by  • August 31, 2015 • MFA in Physical Theatre Program, Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    Our new MFA cohort is officially in Arezzo, and we could not be more excited! This post is the second in a series of interviews we conducted with them before their arrival to get to know them a little bit better. Meet Emily, Richard, and Elyse!



    Emily Childers

    Where are you from?

    Hello! My name is Emily Childers and I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. I graduated from the University of Memphis in 2012.

    How did you hear about the Accademia’s MFA in Physical Theatre?

    The theatre department at U of M awards a scholarship to attend the fall undergraduate program at the ADA every year. I first heard about the undergraduate/MFA program when I was a freshman in 2008. I have always been drawn to the physical nature of theatre, and was therefore fascinated by the program right away. A senior I admired in the department came back from her semester at the Accademia speaking very highly of the program, and the work she did abroad. I spent the next four years quite involved with the U of M theatre department, and my senior year was awarded the scholarship to attend the Accademia. My semester abroad was one of the most challenging and rewarding theatrical experiences of my life.

    What was the audition process like?

    I came back from my semester at the Accademia at the end of 2012 knowing I wanted to go back. My goal was to join the 2015 MFA cohort. I spent the next 2.5 years bartending to save money, maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, becoming a founding member of a new theatre company in Memphis, performing with Opera Memphis’ production of Rigoletto, and teaching 3 workshops at my old theatre department based on my training at the ADA. I feel as if my audition process began when I came back from the Accademia in 2012. Being accepted into the program and preparing for my move has been two and a half years in the making. There were, of course, unexpected life events, and there were days when my dreams seemed so far away. However, the most exciting part of my journey is knowing that not a day has gone by in these 2+ years where I have second guessed or regretted what I was working toward. My four months at the Accademia changed my life, my skills/toolsets as an actor, and completely changed the plans I thought I had for myself. “Outside of one’s comfort zone is where the work begins” is a mantra I’ve kept with me through the last few years, and I know the Accademia is a place where I can keep pushing those boundaries.

    What are your expectations for living in another country for 2-plus years?

    To see as much as possible. To form bonds and connections with my cohort, my professors, and the people in Arezzo. I want to be so immersed in a new country and culture that it heightens my awareness of all people. I want living in another country to infiltrate my work and growth as an actor in ways I can’t yet imagine. I want to see museums, and sip the finest espresso and sweetest limoncello. I want to, one day, have conversations in Italian. It’s overwhelming, yet so exciting to think what my fellow classmates and I will experience together in the next few years!


    Richard Martinez

    Richard Martinez

    Where are you from? 

    I’m from Yabucoa, which is a town in the southeast of Puerto Rico. I went to the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus, and graduated from the drama department. I have also studied both classic & contemporary mime.

    What does “Physical Theatre” mean to you?

    Physical Theatre means to me the ability of the actor to be on the stage with minimum stage resources, and be capable to attract the audience using only his body and voice.

    What was the audition process like?

    This audition process was very challenging for me, because it was my first experience recording an audition video. When it’s just you and the camera, it’s tough to create the emotion and the energy on your own that you normally get from the audience.

    What are your plans for after you complete the program? How do you expect the training and experience from the Accademia’s MFA in Physical Theatre to complement this?

    After this training, I want to be able to teach at the college level, and show students how physical theatre, which is not common in my country, can be an art form all its own. I want to teach students that the body can be the principal component of a play. And most importantly, I want to be a bridge that connects the culture of Latin America with that of the United States, as Puerto Rico does. All the experience I’ve acquired in the international festivals in Latin America will help me teach students how to develop their own style and meet other cultures. Together, we will make one big family, theatre family.



    Elyse Brown

    Where are you from? 

    I am from Amherst, NH. I received a degree in theatre with a concentration in acting/directing from Coastal Carolina University (Conway, SC).

    What was the audition process like?

    Personal and accessible. I was abroad at the same time I chose to apply and was able to fly over to Italy and audition in-person. It was heartening to meet the current study abroad students and MFA cohort; I was reminded of my initial interest and why I chose to return. I was nervous, yet I became peaceful when I warmed up in a classroom I had worked in two years ago and where I made incredible discoveries about myself as a human and artist thanks to the training I received here at the ADA.

    What was your decision process that led you to choose the Accademia’s MFA in Physical Theatre?

    There’s been a lot of thinking, dreaming, and wondering about what I want and how to get there. Last summer I was working on a devised theatre piece with a fantastic director, and realized, “If I want to grow, and reach all those goals I’ve mulled over in my brain, I must take action.” A simple yet necessary concept, one that I believe will allow me to become an advanced physical actor.

    What do you hope to accomplish during your time in the MFA program?

    I hope to develop a unique aesthetic, opinion, and perspective in my work that is fluid and acknowledges others’ (both actor and audience) viewpoints. I also hope to zone in on techniques that I will use throughout my career in preparation and performance.


    Leave a Reply

    To activate your plugin, please log in to LoginRadius and get API Key & Secret. Web: www.LoginRadius.com

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *