Dell’Arte MFA Students Graduate This Weekend BLUE LAKE, CA –
After three years of intensive training and performance, four graduates of the Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre will receive their Master of Fine Arts degrees in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre this weekend.
The students, from Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and the U.S., will receive their diplomas in a socially distanced manner, in lieu of a traditional graduation ceremony.
School Director Lauren Wilson says, “These beloved students of our MFA Program have all overcome tremendous challenges during their years at Dell’Arte. Their commitment to the work has been unflagging, especially during this difficult spring when their final Thesis Projects moved online. All of us at Dell’Arte are inspired by their passion for telling stories that matter, for connecting to audiences, and for making a difference in our struggling world through the medium of theatre. We have been so lucky to work with them.”
The following are bios from the graduates:
• Veenadari Lakshika Jayakody (Sri Lanka) is an ensemble-based physical theater artist, actor-creator, educator, dancer, mask player and clown who has worked in her field since 2009. Veena holds a BPA in Theatre and Television from Lovely Professional University in India. She has trained in South Asian and Western actor-training methods and styles, such as Navarasa training, Balinese male and female dance, Sri Lankan upcountry traditional dance, Commedia Dell’Arte, Clown, Acrobatics, and Mask.
• Andrew Lupkes (United States) is an embodied mover and poet originally from Iowa. He is a graduate of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, and completed the Apprenticeship Program at the Purple Rose Theater Company in Chelsea, Michigan.
• Everson Ndlovu (Zimbabwe) is an award-winning physical theatre practitioner from Harare. He advocates for social change and equity through his work. Everson is passionate about finding new and unconventional methods to tell stories onstage which put the body at the center of storytelling. He studied Performing Arts with Theory X Media in Zimbabwe, and Physical Theatre with Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in the U.S.
• Joël Vining (United States) is an actor and a creator of things. He is an imperfect person in an imperfect world, but he is doing the best he can with the tools he has. The world is at a crossroads right now. How we respond at this time will set the path for generations. Joël would like to request that we give others the benefit of the doubt, trust, love, and fight for justice. #ahmaudarbery #georgefloyd #blacklivesmatter
Having completed our spring term via distance learning, Dell’Arte hopes to resume in-person classes in October 2020. If public health recommendations preclude holding classes in October, Dell’Arte will delay the start of the school year until it is safe to resume in-person instruction. Any schedule changes will be announced by August 1.
The Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre offers the only accredited MFA in Ensemble-Based Physical Theatre in the world. Its training programs attract students from across the globe, with more than 1,000 graduates from 41 countries since the formation of the school in 1975. It is one of three institutions of higher education in Humboldt County, along with Humboldt State University and College of the Redwoods.