From May 6 through June 13, the 12 second-year FSU/Asolo Conservatory graduate acting students studied in London. And for the weeks following, many of the students opted to travel around Europe until conservatory classes start again in the fall.
For instance, since their summer classes ended, friends and classmates Lucy Lavely and Ben Williamson have parted ways temporarily to do their own exploring. Lavely traveled to Madrid, Munich and Vienna; Williamson to Valencia, Milan, Malta, Rome, Venice, Budapest and Switzerland. On July 9, they have just met in Amsterdam, where they are sitting in a café to discuss their London experience.
Lavely had been to London once before, but Williamson hadn’t. They stayed at the FSU London Study Center in the heart of the West End — just a walk over the bridge to the West End theaters.
The pair explains that all students took three classes — which amounted to about three hours of studying a day. There was a movement class, a clowning class and a voice class. The students learned things, such as how to restructure their breath; and they explored their inner clowns and mastered speaking Shakespearean texts.
As for the other hours of the day: “We saw theater every chance we got!” Lavely says.
To be specific, the graduate students saw 34 shows in 32 days. In the afternoons, they’d go to museums; visit Camden Town; tour St. Andrew’s Cathedral; and even take a day-trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.
Both students consider the days the program donors came to visit them the best part of the trip. Lavely says they shared “all the cool things we found” with their donors. They went to dinner, explored the town and, of course, saw theater together.
Overall, the trip was not only a fun and memorable time, it was a great learning experience.
“It’s given me stimulation in other areas and taught me to be present in every moment,” Lavely says.
“‘Soaking’” is a good word to use,” Williamson says. “… I’ve just breathed it all in.”
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