The American School in SwitzerlandThe American School in Switzerland
Alumni Notes: Winter 2020

A Star is Born

The recent revamp of Little Women continues to delight audiences around the world. If you haven’t seen it yet, keep an eye out for Haley Robinson ’13 (now Hadley Robinson) in the role of Sallie Gardiner, lifelong friend of Meg (played by Emma Watson). Haley’s first red carpet event, the New York premiere of Little Women, was recently diarized by Vogue. After a junior year at TASIS, Haley went on to attend Interlochen Arts Academy and then Juilliard. Next up is the starring role in Amy Poehler’s coming-of-age film Moxie. We can’t wait to watch her rising star shine! 

The Rise of an Empire

Keep an eye out for Tommaso Basili '00, who is starring in a new Netflix program, Rise of Empire: Ottoman, which debuted on January 24. Tommaso plays Emperor Constantine XI in the program that tells how a 21-year-old Muhammad II conquered Constantinople, ending the Byzantine Empire and starting the Ottoman Empire. Tommaso is a familiar face on Italian television with a recurring role in Rai1’s daily soap Il Paradiso delle signore and upcoming parts in Don Matteo 12 and Medical Report

Tommaso was born in Sardinia and spent his childhood in Milan and Lake Como before coming to TASIS. He attended the Michael Rodgers Acting Studio in Milan and the Stella Adler Studio in New York and spent many years starring in commercials before landing his first big role in Sky Atlantic’s 1993. He went on to star in Il vegetale and L’isola di Pietro. He is the only Italian actor cast in the Rise of Empire series (and, as far as we know, the only former TASIS student). Congratulations Tommaso, and here’s to many more roles!

Designer Life

Emily Bode PG ’08 continues to be the designer to watch! GQ magazine named her 2019 Designer of the Year. “Wavy garments that deepen one’s connection to American craftsmanship?” they say. “That’s as Bode as possible.” Emily’s work can be seen on fashionistos including singer Harry Styles and has recently been featured in the Wall Street Journal.

And Speaking of Design…

Congratulations go to Francesca Neri Antonello ’88, who recently published Alfabeto de la memoria: Interior Landscapes (November 2019), her debut book that considers the relationship between architecture and memory, and how the past shapes the future. 

After studying architecture at George Washington University in Washington, DC and Parsons School of Design in New York, Francesca returned to her home of Switzerland to work with Alessandro Medini and Martin Wagner on commercial and residential projects. In 1998 she joined Frette where she was responsible for the Hospitality division and then became Corporate Image Director. In 2009 she decided to go out on her own and created FNA Concept, a firm that combines architecture with interior and landscape design to create unique, exceptional spaces. See more of her work here

Collaborations in Como

We love hearing about alumni collaborations and were even more excited when it happened so close to campus! From November 2019 through January 2020, Galleria Ramo (run by Simon David ’08; Via Natta 31, Como) featured the haunting collection Double Like Tata from artist Gianna Dispenza ’08, which was her first exhibition in Italy. A graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute, Gianna is currently completing her M.A. in London at the Royal College of Art. Her work is in collections around the world and has been shown at such institutions as the V&A and Saatchi Gallery. Read a review of the exhibition here.

Movement and Motivation

Los Angeles alumni can see the work of Berfin Ataman ’09 at the A+D Museum through April 5. Berfin is the 2020 recipient of Rios Clementi Hale’s Alley Fellowship, which supports cross-disciplinary emerging artists. Her exhibition, Movement and Motivation, features sculptures, wearables, and figures that explore the internal and external perception of movement. Berfin is currently earning her MFA at UCLA. Learn more about her at

Marriage Story

One of this year’s big Oscar contenders is Marriage Story, a drama about divorce that includes a character (played by Laura Dern, who is up for Best Supporting Actress) that more than casually resembles Laura Wasser ’86. The lawyer has represented such high-profile people as Angelina Jolie, Britney Spears, Maria Shriver, and Jennifer Jason Leigh in her divorce from Marriage Story’s director, Noah Baumbach. Read about the similarities between the film and real life, including some possibly stolen phrases, in Vulture’s interview with Laura.

Jack is Back, Again

Frequent readers of Alumni Notes won’t be surprised to read that one of our favorite singers is Jack Savoretti ’01, and we were delighted to hear that he’ll be back in Lugano this summer! Jack will open the 4th annual ROAM Festival at Parco Ciani in Lugano—the very place where he used to sit and strum his guitar while a student at TASIS. 

Jack will be performing on Thursday, July 23, following up his sold-out show in Lugano last year. Festivals are nothing new for Jack; he’s performed at Glastonbury, T in the Park, Pinkpop, and No Borders.

ROAM, which is part of the LongLake Festival, will take place through Saturday, July 25, and will include indie artists from Switzerland and beyond. If you haven’t been back to Lugano in a while, think of coming to see Jack perform—and pop up to campus to see us, too! 

We Need a Dry Field!

The TASIS Global Village continues to expand, and while we plan our new buildings (the Valzonico Elementary School Building, Hadsall Dining Terrace, and Corona Dormitory), we also must consider the practical: a new parking lot and a new playing field! We will be installing a new, state-of-the-art synthetic/grass mix Hydrofield surface that will allow for year-round play with reduced environmental impact. It will serve our daily PE classes and will allow us to host practices and athletic contests at our campus. Our Annual Appeal funds this year will go toward the field and a new basketball court, inspiring young athletes for generations to come. Join us by donating here, and thank you for all you do to support our student! 

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