• New Discoveries and New Beginnings

    by  • September 11, 2019 • One Year Program, Student Life, Uncategorized, Undergraduate Physical Theatre, Undergraduate Programs • 0 Comments


    Olivia Rescigno, Muhlenberg College

    Semester Physical Theatre Program

    As a first time international traveler, the second I saw the yellow villa come into sight, a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. In that moment, it hit me that I was actually in Italy and the beautiful yellow structure with green shutters was going to be my new home for the next three months. As I was unpacking I had all of these emotions flowing through my head; I was scared, excited, nervous etc. Before I knew it, it was time for dinner. I was thrilled for my first meal in Italy, and it certainly did not disappoint. Between the pasta and the bread, I was in my glory! Towards the end of the meal, I looked up to notice the sky was ignited with red, orange, and light pink as the sun was setting. We all ran on top of the Teatrino and reveled in how gorgeous it was. After the breathtaking view and going out on the town, it was time for bed…that was when it hit me. I knew that I was going to miss my family, friends, and rambunctious Scottish Terrier, but I did not expect it to hit me the first night. While I tried to focus on the bright side such as the food and stunning sunset, I was nervous for classes, anxious about making friends, and wondering if I could actually be away from home for three months. Now that it has been a little over a week and I have gone through classes and got to know some pretty amazing people that I cannot believe have not been in my life until now, I can say that these feelings of anxiety have subsided. This first week has helped me realize that it is okay to not feel okay at first when experiencing something totally new; it takes time to adjust. I am beyond excited for all of the beautiful sunsets, delicious pasta, and treks into town that are in store for the next few months!


    Myriam Burger, Sarah Lawrence College

    Semester Physical Theatre Program

    My first week at the Accademia was full of ups and downs—literally. Tuscany is very hilly lol. And also, of course, emotionally. There have been moments of breathtaking beauty: watching the sunset with my friends on top of the Teatrino each night; singing together, moving together, sweating together; eating gelato, gelato, gelato. And much more: we had our first open mic on Friday, and the amount of support and love that filled that room as my friends made their beautiful art, sang and moved their hearts out, brought me to tears multiple times. Our first movement class was similarly incredible: our first exercise was to walk around the room and as we encountered people to pause and spend a moment with them. We were to do an action that they would follow and then reverse it so that they would do something that we would follow. However, quickly these moments of connection became mutual fires: we would breath together and let our bodies move, the words leader and follower erased from our minds, merely allowing our bodies to be moved by kinetic energy or some external force. We all just allowed. It was truly one of the most incredible classes I’ve ever taken. Moving your body in a room full of people who are just so open is an incredible experience. Pure human connection!!!

    These were some of my favorite moments of the first week, but to be clear, it hasn’t all been sunsets and beauty. There have also been moments of loneliness and homesickness. Moments of feeling like I don’t belong. Moments of confusion and feeling lost. My advice to you, perspective future ADA student, is if those feelings creep up on you, spend some time with them. Acknowledge them. Feel them. And then run to the top of the Teatrino and DANCE. There is something magic about that place, where you can see all of Arezzo spread out beneath you, mountains and trees surrounding everything, the sky vast. Go up there and listen to your music and shake your body around and bring yourself back to center. Honestly, even if you aren’t feeling down, go up there and dance by yourself. It can be hard to be surrounded by the same people all the time (even though I love these humans so much), and time spent for you by you with you is precious.


    Making music on top of the Teatrino

    Some snails we found :)

    Some snails we found 🙂

    Aliza Saper, Coastal Carolina University

    One Year Physical Theatre Program

    The anticipation of simply getting here was tremendous. I came in tow with many bags, and many apprehensions and fears. We have been here for one week now, and I feel as though this is what life is supposed to feel like. It has been some time since I’ve been around such a wonderfully talented, smart group of artists.
                In class this past week, I was immediately intrigued and engaged by the work, by the discussion, and by the instruction. I now am understanding all the possibilities that are in store for me here as an artist. What an incredible honor and privilege it is to develop and strengthen this instrument that is my body. In this first week I’ve been conscious to be present inside and outside of the studio. There is so much to see, many details in this city; taking it all in feels important.
                Already there have been many exciting excursions into town. Copious amounts of gelato have already been consumed. My peers are a joy to get to know. Their thoughtfulness and kindness astounds me. We are all figuring our new life out here together; buying communal toasters, waiting for everyone in the group to feel completely well and able to continue the walk into town, having dance parties in the teatrino, organizing yoga and workout sessions, open mics…the list goes on. So yes, this is what life is supposed to feel like. This place has a way, already I can tell this, of opening up your heart. I feel this just after week one. Ciao for now. Stay tuned for more news from the villa!


    Patrick Burke, LeMoyne College

    Semester Physical Theatre Program


    Ciao future ADA students! Speaking as a current student, I have only been here for a week but have already been exposed to things that I never could have back at my home university. The most life changing thus far was honestly our first day as a whole group together. My first orientation with the theatre students made me realize that I had thought very little about what theatre is and what it can accomplish. All the students went around in a circle and discussed what we get out of theatre and why we are passionate about it. I was one of the first to answer, saying that I enjoy stepping into new characters and being able to adopt a fresh perspective and discover things about myself. Following that, my peers talked about the way they use their art to learn more about the world and human connection and enjoy the process of creating.
    I’m unable to recreate their profound words but it struck me deeply and it led to a lot of self introspection about what it means to be an artist. When I was at my home institution, I had never been in such a serious discussion about the meaning of art but now I was being challenged like I had never expected. This lit a fire underneath me and has led me to think much more seriously about how my art can impact those around me on a grander scope. Since then, I have discussed this same topic with my professors and one of them expressed that their motivation behind theatre is the pleasure they get from doing art and teaching it to others. This made me feel validated in knowing that a respectable professional that I look up to was telling me that it was okay for me to do art out of the enjoyment of doing it. This is a large breakthrough that I didn’t even know I needed until I got here. It wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible group of peers that I can only meet in an environment such as this. I still look forward to learning more about myself and what drives me and I know that my new friends will push me towards those answers!


    Collin David Beach, Coastal Carolina University

    Semester Physical Theatre Program

    While studying in Arezzo, there are many opportunities that present themselves to
    students. From the walks into town, to the trains that take you into different regions and
    countries. Whatever a student decides to do with their time here, it will not be put to waste.
    However, given all of the opportunities that are offered here, I will be taking this page to talk
    about only two.
    Having only been here for a full week, I haven’t exactly had the time to be a “traveler
    extraordinaire”, let alone find all the ins and outs of the town itself. Having said that, there are
    two particular experiences that have stood out among the others.
    The first is the annual joust that occurs in the town square. It takes place the first
    weekend in September every year, and is a highly anticipated event among the locals. The town
    of Arezzo itself is divided up into four different “areas” that have their own subcultures and
    mannerisms. These areas are the different teams represented in the joust.
    Now, the joust itself is not like one you would see at a renaissance festival or Medieval
    Times. The results of the joust and the pride of each team is taken extremely personally by each
    individual of the town. Having said that, the officials in charge of the joust have taken the safety
    of each rider and even the horses into account and have come up with an alternate form of riding
    with lances.
    As seen above, the miniature model holds a sign with different numbers on it. This is a scaled down version of the actual mannequin they use for the joust. The riders of each team must ride towards the mannequin and thrust their lance into one of the number sections on the sign. Whoever has the highest number after two rides wins. If there is a tie, they will do two more
    rounds. The winning team then goes and celebrates however they see fit, usually with a big dinner and more than a few celebratory drinks.
     The second event is much less exciting and more sentimental than the first one, and far more frequent.
    At the top of one of the many hills in Arezzo lies Academia dell’Arte, the school where I
    have the pleasure of spending an entire semester studying and honing my chosen craft. The villa
    itself has 2 main buildings, and several other smaller structures for various needs and purposes.
    The roof of one of these buildings has a stairway leading down to the grown, so the roof is more
    like a patio.
    That roof has one of the best views of the town that the entire terrain has to offer. And
    almost every night, groups of students will head up there right after dinner to watch the sunset.

    These small but beautiful handful of moments offer a sense of beauty and wonder to the whole community of the school.


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