TEXT: HELEN HANDELMAN ('16), CONTRIBUTOR
This semester, I'm studying at the Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT in Russian) through the National Theater Institute. It's a three-month program, and we're about halfway through. I'm living, working, and making theater with the same 20 kids and it's been pretty amazing. We live in MXAT dorms half an hour away from our studio, which is on the top floor of the MXAT school where the Russian students study producing, design, or acting.
This semester, we're taking Acting, Singing, Russian, Ballet & Russian Folk Dancing, Movement, Stage Combat, Cinema History, Theatre History, and Stage Design. All in Russian but translated for us. In acting, we're working on developing pieces (what are called études) based on Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard."
I usually eat breakfast at home, lunch at the small theater cafeteria, and dinner at home, but it varies depending on the day and if we're seeing a show or not. Free time is hard to find (it's usually taken up with rehearsal,food or sleep) but when I have a moment it I'll read, go for a walk or try to see some of the highlights in Moscow. It's definitely been busy but it's been wonderful too. I have waves of missing home, Wesleyan and America, but they only come when I have too much free time, which doesn't happen too too often.