I had initially planned on going to London to study theatre specifically, but in my first meeting with Christy Burke, she provided me with information for several other programs that still had a focus on the arts. Among those was the Prague program, which I quickly fell in love with. Although I felt like I knew what I wanted, Christy helped to open the horizon of possibility before I settled on something that might not have been as fulfilling and challenging.
Digesting a complex set of experiences into pat understandings of who I am and want to be is nearly impossible. I suppose the simplest answer would be that while creating and viewing theatre in the Czech Republic, I realized how important it is that I am an American theatre artist; that though I sometimes have contempt for Americans’ attitudes toward theatre and the government’s unwillingness to support or value artistic endeavors, I cannot escape my roots and must learn to celebrate them.
My favorite meal — one that I had many times — was a rind of grilled or pickled Hermelin (a camembert-like cheese) with peppers and onions. That with a nice Velkopopicky Kozel — a brand of dark beer — served me well time and time again, as I frequented Czech cafes to work on my various writing projects.
See a performance by VerteDance, meet up with my Creative Writing teacher at Periferie Café, get a slice of honey cake at the sweet shop Alchymista, see a show at Divadlo Archa and Divadlo Na Zabradli, revisit the Kampa Museum, visit Martina in the town of Trutnov and use her spinning wheels, and take a walk through the Prague Castle gardens (if I’m there in sunny weather) or visit the winter markets in Namesti Miru and Staromestke Namesti if I’m there in winter.
First of all, listen to the wisdom of Christy Burke. Keep your options open and look at all possibilities. I would also highly recommend SIT Study Abroad’s program, as the education becomes a means of integration into the culture you’re visiting. I think the more the academics are a part of the experience and not an excuse to be in another country, the more enriched and fulfilling the experience is going to be.
SIT Study Abroad www.sit.edu/studyabroad/