By Marco Santarelli
According to Deborah Hunt, “mankind is a mistake on this earth, but it is only what we create that redeems us.” This was truly inspiring for all of the students who have worked so hard over the course of this trip to enhance their skills in creating something so incredible. Today, the two groups, masks and physical theatre, departed to begin their final rehearsals before the evening performances. Beginning at 10:00am, the physical theatre group took their usual walk to the studio. We continued to refine and strengthened our pieces in preparation for this final “share.” The amount of sweat and tears acquired before lunch could fill our hotel’s unusable swimming pool. It was absolutely amazing to watch this group of talented performers continue to strengthen their craft and perfect such a beautiful work of art. Our only mission was to prove ourselves in this art form, which few of us have experienced before this Puerto Rican adventure. It was an honor to share the field of battle with this group.
It was finally time for the masks and physical theatre groups to share their work and reflect on this amazing experience.
As we left the studio to watch the performance that was to be taking place in the courtyard of the Bellas Artes building, we were met by a masked figure with a bell waiting to guide us.
Once seeing the group of masked figured scattered around the square, I instantly recognized the performers’ dedication and intensity they brought to the piece. We knew we were in for a great show, though strangers enjoying an afternoon coffee had no idea what they were about to experience.
It was clear wearing layer upon layers of black fabric and a mask in 90-degree heat was no easy task, but each performer took on the challenge with ease and created a fantastic show for everyone, including random spectators.
It was then time to return to the studio for the physical theatre group’s final performance. The two weeks we spent creating, devising, collaborating, altering, and adapting all of these pieces finally proved itself to be a terrific gift for all of us on the stage. Like the mask group, we all created something that was uniquely ours, and we were extremely grateful to share it with such fantastic artists. Throughout this performance, each actor highlighted his or her original work and built an ensemble piece with tremendous support and assistance from our director and warrior in training Javier.
Both performances were tremendously successful, and it was finally time to leave the stage and take in our final moments as performers in Puerto Rico.
But that’s not to say we didn’t celebrate afterwards. The program put together a fantastic party in the studio with terrific food and dessert. Being surrounded by music, dancing, and great friends, it was the perfect way to end an incredible day performing an art form that we have all enjoyed.
View additional images on Marco’s blog post.
For additional information about the our study abroad programs, visit the study abroad website.