Patrnchak Gets Physical at Dell' Arte

August 17, 2011

Natalie Patrnchak has found a way to blend her athletic background with her newfound love of theater.

"I figure skated competitively for twelve years. After retiring and coming to college, I found a love for theater," Patrnchak said.

The two passions led her to physical theater and eventually, by recommendation from Associate Professor Steve Snyder, to the Dell'Arte School of Physical Theater in Blue Lake, Calif. Dell'Arte offers two weeklong and month-long summer courses for students studying theatre. The school also offers a one-year professional training program and a three-year graduate school program.

"Steve Snyder took a month-long course there a couple of years ago. After researching the school, I knew I had to do something there," Patrnchak said.

She chose to take the month-long summer program in July.

"I decided the month long program would be a perfect way to dip my toe into the school to see if committing to a year or three years would be something I would enjoy. Fortunately and unfortunately, I am even more obsessed with the school and what it has to offer," Patrnchak said.

She fell in love with the school's vision statement: "Dell'Arte International seeks to create resonant works of theatre that are visceral, athletic and that engage the mystery underlying all experience. We revel in ferocious play."

"It just puts a fire in my stomach to go out and do. This is what theatre should be," Patrnchak said of the statement.

Patrnchak received incredible support from Bradley before, during and after her Dell'Arte experience.

"Every faculty member was extremely supportive and happy for me to go. Upon returning to Bradley this week, several of my professors have been asking me about my time there and genuinely want to hear about what I learned," Patrnchak said.

The school promotes the growth and development of various relationships, so students there learn to work with and appreciate all the people involved in theatre production.

Though she learned a tremendous amount during her one-month study, Patrnchak will likely be drawn back to the school for additional, one-of-a-kind training.

"I just love the positive and egoless attitudes, passion, love, drive, hope, and care that every faculty member, student, graduate, and current graduate students had for the art, school and each other," Patrnchak