One word. One simple word. Yet, this word encompasses the entirety of our second semester and in an instant this simple word becomes vast and our mountain to climb. As MFA students we spent the first semester here at Accadamia dell’Arte building a collective foundation and developing a common language to use when devising our own theatrical performances. This concept was explored through our classes which focused on movement acting and voice (which also included special topics taught by guest instructors that fit into these 3 categories). During the day we workshopped and at night we put those foundations and concepts into practice in our rehearsals as every 2 weeks we had a new prompt that gave us parameters to devise new work.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
And now here we are 2 weeks into the second semester trying to find our meaning of Fleatown. We have until May 3 to devise our most ambitious project together yet, create an entire Commedia dell’Arte canovaccio based on the concept that we are a traveling theatre troupe performing a show in Fleatown. On top of that we will be performing this for primarily the residents of Arezzo.
13 Americans and 1 South Korean performing for an audience that speaks Italian. How do we create something when we know that there will be a language barrier? What do we even talk about? Not to mention that we are strangers learning an Italian artform performing for Italians. Will they think we did it justice?
We still have a few months to develop our story. Each class digging deeper into how to use our body to shape characters, voice to develop the characters’ personality, and acting to help bring all of it together and teach us how to wear the commedia dell’arte masks. To help us understand the commedia characters we have aesthetics and history and every 2 weeks we are still producing new devised work.
We are busy trying to figure out what Fleatown will mean. It has given us several hurdles to jump and many more rewards as we overcome them. We are all excited for May 3 but for now we have lots of work to do as we explore our biggest prompt.