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BWW Blog: An MT Major Abroad- And That's the Gospel Truth!

BWW Blog: An MT Major Abroad- And That's the Gospel Truth!

Any student of the performing arts knows that modern theatrical performance stems from the tragedies of Ancient Greece. We are all taught at a young age the tale of Thespis, who stepped out from the chorus and became the very first actor. That is where our title, 'thespian', comes from! Well, what if you had the opportunity to study the ancient world in which our profession was originally cultivated?

This is an opportunity my college, Elon University, has to offer. For one month over our winter term, I traveled Greece with a group of 30 other students outside of my major and toured every famous archaeological site, museum, and ancient city the country is so famous for. Elon has over 30 short-term programs available, and have semester programs offered in 4 cities abroad as well as a Study USA program. Personally, it has always been a dream of mine to travel and study abroad- last summer, I spent three weeks at the Academia dell'Arte in Tuscany, Italy, studying commedia dell'arte, clowning, devised theatre, and movement. And finally, I got to study something that wasn't necessarily within the confines of my major, but has been a lifelong passion of mine all the same.

During my time in Greece, not only did I get to travel around the whole country, but the trip broadened the scope of my world view and reminded me everyday of the lives outside of an intense performing arts program. While I obviously love what I do, it was so refreshing to step out of my comfort zone and interact with people I otherwise would have never met in my time at Elon. Not only that, but I was shocked to learn about how important theatre was to both Ancient Greece and Greece today, directly applying my major to what I was learning abroad. In Athens, we attended a mask workshop at a current functioning Greek theatre and got to make our own comedy or tragedy masks! And while visiting the Theatre of Epidaurus, I got to experience the incredible acoustics of Ancient Greek theatres first-hand in an impromptu performance of "I Won't Say I'm In Love" from Hercules. Needless to say, that was one of the highlights of my life.

One thing I love about Elon's curriculum is that, as a music theatre major, you are allowed and encouraged to seek other opportunities the university provides. Most other BFA programs don't give you the freedom to study other topics of interest, much less minor or even double major. I'm personally both a BFA MT major and a creative writing minor, so when I graduate from Elon, I'll have the tools in my toolbox to create my own work. I love how Elon nurtures the full self, and gives me the freedom to make of my education what I want to do with it, rather than being confined in a box. Something I looked for while applying to college programs was the chance to study abroad and to expand my love of writing, both of which I have accomplished. It was personally so important to me to not just go to a top performing arts program, but to choose a school that inspired the whole self and not only made me a better artist, but a well-rounded and cultured human being.

Since I am now on the latter half of my college experience (where has the time gone?), this study abroad trip was exactly what I needed to re-inspire and re-invigorate my love of theatre, while teaching me how I could apply my work on a global level. We so easily get caught up in the intensity of preparing for the collegiate and professional theatrical world, and this trip reminded me of why we do what we do. I encourage everyone to travel, to seek our new life experiences, and to take advantage of what your university has to offer. You only have four years, so use them wisely.

"Always desire to learn something useful." -Sophocles

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From This Author Student Blogger: Caroline Attayek

Caroline Attayek is a current junior in Elon University’s BFA Music Theatre program and a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the (read more...)

  • BWW Blog: An MT Major Abroad- And That's the Gospel Truth!
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