Language learning at the University of Reading is not confined to the classroom. This year, for instance, students are preparing to put on an Italian play, and practice provides an opportunity to develop linguistically and culturally. We’ve asked the play’s director, Stefano Santosuosso, a PhD Candidate in Italian Studies with extensive acting experience, to let us know how rehearsals are progressing. Here’s what he has to say:
On Monday 24th November 2014, twenty-eight people gathered in the Van Emden Lecture Theatre to join the new Italian drama society at the University of Reading. Most of the aspiring actors study Italian, while others are either studying other subjects, or come from the Reading community.
The group members meet twice a week in rooms provided by University and actors are, at the moment, working on a play to perform at the end of the summer term. Chloé Saleh, expert in yoga, is in charge of the warm-up and relaxation exercise: “I have always enjoyed theatre, so I jumped at the opportunity to join the Italian Theatrical Group,” Chloé explains. “As an Italian Studies student, the rehearsals have been great practice for my language skills. I am very excited for our final performance; it has been an amazing experience so far.”
Mariana Gregorio, assistant director, says: “As soon as I heard of this opportunity I wasted no time in saying yes! I’ve always had a passion for theatre and acting and there is no hiding my enthusiasm in embracing my Italian roots, so wht could be better than to combine the two together! Working on the play in Italian has not only helped me acquire a better understanding of the language but, along with the game exercises, it has helped build my confidence in speaking (out loud) in another language. It’s a real pleasure working together with such an energetic and friendly group – together I think we create the perfect environment to prepare a performance worth coming to see.”
Katie Fountain will help with set design and props. Theatre rehearsal, she says, is “a great place to meet Italians and other students of Italian who share the same passion for theatre, the language (and also food!). For anyone who’s missing out on this wonderful experience, I would definitely recommend it for next year!”
The Italian Theatrical Group hopes to see you for its first public performance in Summer Term. To keep up with the theatrical project and all of the Department’s other activities, as well as to receive updates from our students, staff, and alumni, follow this blog, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our Twitter feed.
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