November 11, 2010 - Laurel Keen

Posted on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 3:40PM

We are currently on the bus leaving Collegno, Italy and heading toward St. Maxime, France. It is still amazing to me that within a few short hours of driving you can be amidst a completely different culture. It always takes me a moment to switch over to a new language and a new pace. Each city seems to possess its own energy and it's interesting to experience each one for a short amount of time. Collegno, for example, was quite laid back and the cold, rainy weather only enhanced that feeling. Torino is only a short metro or cab ride away though, so most of us made the trip into the city. Ricky and I went in one afternoon after rehearsal. Luckily, the rain had stopped, so we walked around a good portion of the city. Many of the streets were adorned with christmas lights formed into unusual shapes, such as constellations, geometric figures and birds holding strings in their mouths. They gave each street a unique and magical feel. I have to say the highlight for me (and I don't think Ricky would fight me on this one) was the hot chocolate! I had read that Torino is known for their hot chocolate, so we made an effort to find a little cafe and order one. I had never experienced anything quite like it. It was as if they took a bar of the finest dark chocolate and simply melted it down. It can only be described as heavenly! I was very sad when I reached the bottom of the cup and I can only hope to revisit it in my dreams. If you ever find yourself in Torino, you must order one!

The theater in Collegno was...let's go with interesting. It was a laundry facility at one time and has since been refurbished to house a theater as well as two studios. They did a really nice job on the renovation but there are definitely a few quirks to the place. The stage itself was quite tiny so it was sometimes challenging to fit all ten of us onstage at one time. The overhead lights run the distance of the entire building so when the audience arrived and the lights were turned off on the stage, we also lost light in the dressing rooms back stage. We were then left to do our make-up in what can only be described as campfire light. Everyone took it in stride though. We were laughing at the fact that we had no idea how much make-up we were putting on, so there was a good chance we would go onstage looking like clowns. I think it ended up being okay in the end.

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