• Meet MFA Cohort IV: Sean Henderson, Brittany Roa, and Erika Whatley

    by  • September 10, 2015 • MFA in Physical Theatre Program, Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    Welcome to the fourth installment in a series of posts introducing our new MFA Cohort! This week, we are thrilled to feature Sean, Brittany, and Erika!


    Sean Henderson

    Sean Henderson

    Where are you from? Where did you go to college / university and what did you study?

    I was born in Morges, Switzerland and moved to Concord, North Carolina when I was 4 years old. I attended Catawba College for my undergrad and received a BA in Theatre Arts.

    What was the audition process like?

    I had a good time auditioning for the ADA. I enjoyed the freedom of creating a devised audition piece. I also appreciated the number of people involved in the program who were willing to answer any questions I had and tell me more about the program.

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

    I hope to become a more well-rounded performer, to develop a greater understanding of my body and voice, and to discover how to best use my skills in solo and collaborative settings.

    What advice do you have for someone who’s considering applying for the Accademia’s MFA?

    Do it. No one has ever achieved anything without trying so you may as well go for it if it’s something you want. (True for everything really–not just applying for the ADA!)


    Brittany Roa

    Brittany Roa

    Where are you from? Where did you go to college / university and what did you study?

    I was born in California, but blossomed in Arizona. I went to Arizona State University where I studied theatre. I also briefly attended graduate school at Emerson College in Boston for poetry.

    What does “Physical Theatre” mean to you?

    Embodying the script, if any. It’s theatre in its truest form. In film, your face is the most important thing. In theatre, it should be your body.

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

    I did a lot of research about all the grad programs at URTA and from the beginning, the ADA was my number one. The program seemed the most soulful. I’ve also always wanted to visit Europe and experience the culture, so I knew studying at the ADA would provide me with the most growth as a person and an artist.

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

    I expect it to be difficult, but rewarding. I’m excited to learn a new language and be immersed in a new world. I expect to gain a lot of insight about life and to continue maturing into a well-rounded, well-educated, open-minded individual. (That was a lot of dashes!)


    Erika Whatley

    Erika Whatley

    Where are you from? Where did you go to college / university and what did you study?

    I am from Greenville, South Carolina and I attended Coastal Carolina University where I received a BA in Theatre Arts with a performance emphasis.

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

    When my university and the Accademia partnered together to create the Physical Theatre BFA, I learned about the school from various visitors affiliated with the Accademia. I was very lucky to take a physical theatre workshop with the Tut’zanni theatre troupe there, which is made up of ADA alumni and really drove my decision to consider ADA as a potential grad program. I also had a wonderful Skype conversation with Dory Sibley when I began looking for MFA programs a little over a year ago and then I knew that this program might be perfect for me.

    Looking ahead to beginning the MFA program, what are you most excited about?

    The people! I’m beyond excited to begin working with my cohort. Everyone seems like they are so unique and have such varied backgrounds. They’re also hilarious. This is a dangerously funny group of people. We’re all also really, really ridiculously good looking. But it isn’t just the cohort that I’m excited for–I’m also excited for the professors and getting to learn from wonderful people who are passionate about this work.

    Similarly, what is the biggest challenge you foresee?

    The biggest challenge is going to be either the language barrier or the fact that I’m surrounded by carbs every day. No, scratch that, it’s actually the fact that my shower is the size of a matchbox and I have these things called elbows that like to slam against the tiles and I also sometimes lean against the shower handle and accidentally turn the water off.


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