All Aboard for England!

posted by Anya Richkind, A.C.T. Young Conservatory student

Every other year, students from A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory go to England to develop a new play written for young actors as part of an ongoing exchange program with Theatre Royal Bath. This year, a group of Young Conservatory and M.F.A. Program students travels to Bath to work on Riot, a brand-new play by Irish author Ursula Rani Sarma, which will receive its world premiere production at A.C.T. in April 2010. Anya Richkind, a junior at San Francisco’s Lick-Wilmerding High School, writes about her preparations for this summer’s big trip.

Approximately 46 days ago, I started counting down the days till takeoff. “Forty-seven days!” I muttered under my breath. And now, that number has dwindled down to one. ONE. One day till we leave for England.

At this point, I am beyond excited. I am dumbfounded, flabbergasted, amazed that this is actually happening. And it all starts tomorrow. I mean, how perfect does this get? Taking acting workshops during the day, seeing plays and eating out at night. Oh yeah, IN ENGLAND. I’ve just read the first draft of the play we’ll be putting up [in San Francisco] next spring, and I think it’s just wonderful. I know that we will spend some of our time at The Egg (the theater we’ll be using in England) workshopping this play, so it will be great fun to see how the characters grow and develop as time goes on.

Well, I’ve been slowly packing over the course of this last week. Now, my suitcase—which I could comfortably sleep in, along with a medium-sized cat—is practically filled to the brim. (I’m trying to leave some space for whatever British things I bring back with me: tea, marmalade, crumpets . . . that kind of thing.) I’ve heard it’s generally foggy and cool in Bath, so luckily my San Francisco wardrobe is quite fitting.

I’ve been communicating with my host family for the last few weeks, discussing logistics and whatnot. I’ll be staying with the British girl my family hosted last year, so it will be one happy reunion. We’ve stayed in touch since she was here last year, but it will be so great to actually see her in person! I also can’t wait to see how British family customs differ from American ones. I mean, I know my family has all sorts of odd little traditions, and I wonder how many of those actually carry over to England. Along those lines, I’m hoping to pick up a British accent during my two-week stay! (We’ll see how that goes
. . .)

Anyway, that’s pretty much it for now. Next time I write, it’ll be from England! Until next time, lads!

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