Arcadia Students Perform ‘A Harry Potter Christmas Mystery’ in Sicily

By Purnell T. Cropper | January 28, 2014


On Dec. 6, students studying abroad in Syracuse, Sicily, brought some of Arcadia University’s Hogwarts-like magic to the Mediterranean Center for Arts and Sciences.

Twelve students from Arcadia—Sarah Bass, Emily Bongiovanni, Catherine Carney, Angela Condellire, Cynthia Clay, Federico Dylan, Matthew King, Matthew Neeson, Danielle Lacey, Noryedg Perez, Cate Rubin and Chevon Linear—joined Italian thespians from Piccola Accademia Teatro Giovani, a local theater group, to create a musical based on the Harry Potter saga.

Guided by Adjunct Professor Paola Moroni and their Italian cast members, the Arcadia students chose the Harry Potter theme, wrote the script, and translated it into Italian. The final product was coordinated by Arcadia faculty member Susi Kimbell and directed by Professor Sebastiano Rabbito.

“Putting on a musical play in Italian was an ambitious ‘first’ for us, and some days it felt more like Mission Impossible than A Harry Potter Christmas Mystery,” said Kimbell. “But with a lot of hard work, everything fell into place.”

The performance concluded a semester-long project, which celebrated Arcadia’s Life of Mind Series: Rhythms of the World. Reflecting the theme of Rhythms of the World, music was used as a tool to bring the American and Italian students together. Their collaborative efforts broke down the linguistic and cultural barriers, and gave each the opportunity to international students of a similar age group.

In addition, the project introduced the Arcadia performers to the Italian language in a unique way. All 12 students performed in Italian and became comfortable using colloquial terms on stage.

“Watching our students performing confidently in Italian alongside the local Sicilian students was so rewarding. The music and dance brought everyone together for an evening of light-hearted entertainment,” said Kimbell.