Acting in Russia is an intensive summer course of Russian-style actor training for English-speaking actors. In the early part of the last century, Russian theater practitioners set the foundations for today's American theater training. The theories of Stanislavsky, as espoused by Strasburg and Adler, were used in the creation of American greats like Dustin Hoffman, Marilyn Monroe, and Marlon Brando.
Actor training in Russia and America has diverged, however, with America focusing on psychological training and Russia focusing on intense physical and vocal training. The Acting in Russia program seeks to bridge this divergence by placing American actors on Russian stages.
This product-focused course delivers its training largely through scene rehearsals. These scenes are then presented as a final examination for the course. Skills-building sessions further develop voice, movement, and physicality. Seminars in Russian theatre theory, history, and culture further develop the actor's sphere of reference. A rich cultural program, plenty of Russian productions, and a crash-course in survival Russian round out this extraordinary educational and resume-building experience that awaits you in St. Petersburg!
RA-301: Class of Acting Using "The Method of Etudes" – development of a character and a scene through focused actor improvisations ("Etude" is a term used in Russian acting technique that means "an improvisation that is indirectly associated with the play or with one's own memories"); Learning a contemporary approach to the Stanislavsky System; Studying the special acting training techniques designed for improvement of the actor's ability to be in a moment on stage; Studying the special training techniques designed for the development of a character; Creating and embodying the imaginary body of a character; Using physical, psychological and verbal actions in given circumstances; Building stronger actor self-awareness on stage through improvisations; Improving the effectiveness of the actor's interactions with his/her partners on stage; Learning the techniques of breaking through an actor's creative block during performance; Rehearsing scenes from Chekov's plays using the improvisational technique – "The Method of Etudes." Academic Hours: 108**
RA-310: Class of Voice and Speech Learning about the physical nature of vocal expression and development of physical support for the actor's voice and speech; Recognizing and building a stronger relationship between the actor's senses, physical movement, and voice; Studying the effect that different rhythms may have on the actor's vocal expression; Developing the actor's ability to relate to his/her own imagination and how it affects his/her voice; Using breath, articulation and vocal expression as means to prompt a partner's reactions; Developing the actor's ability to integrate a speech into full psychophysical action on stage; Exploring of nonintellectual components of vocal communication. Academic Hours: 12**
RA-320: Class of Dance and Movement Learning the anthropological approach to dance for actors; Rediscovering your own physicality through classical dance exercises; Exploring the body-mind psychology; Improving the actor's instinctive reaction to music; Exploring metaphors such as Chaos, Water, Earth, Fire and Air through movement; Developing the actor's ability to integrate a physical movement into full psychophysical action on stage; Improving the actor's ability to communicate to his/her partners through movement. Academic Hours: 12**
RA-330: Culture Theory Class Russian art epochs; Theatre methods; Contemporary theatre trends; Discussion of productions watched during the course. Academic Hours: 12**
RS-101: Culture Lab Excursions, seminars, and other out-of-the-classroom experiences at locations of historical, cultural, or other interest with a focus on seeing local productions.
RS-131: Survival Russian A practical course to teach you how to get around the city, order in restaurants, and more. Learning Russian, which has several sounds not found in English and a structure that differs strongly from English, is also a great way to force yourself to think about pronunciation and expression of your own language! Academic Hours: 30**
Optional:The Art of Moscow This optional four-day tour of Russia's political capital includes walking tours of the city and its street art, admission to several museums, and other culture-oriented events. Round-trip rail tickets and hostel stay are included (ask about upgrading to a hotel). Added cost: TBA
- Dates and Costs - June 15 – July 26, 2012; Extended Deadline: Apply by April 30, 2012 Cost: $5 795
SRAS is celebrating theater in Russia by offering three $750 scholarships. Scholarship participants will be expected to contribute weekly blog entries and a 2-3 page end-of-program summation essay describing what they are learning, experiencing, and how they plan to use this knowledge and experience in the future.
Just write one paragraph about why you want to study theatre in Russia. Submit this paragraph plus two writing samples (papers written for college-level classes (preferably on Russia- or theatre-related subjects) with your acting CV (see below) when applying for this program to be eligible!
I learned many techniques that I probably would not learn at a university in the States. This program is very helpful in teaching actors different strategies and techniques to acting that are different than ones in the U.S... Learning Russian theatre is so different than theatre in America. It definitely broadens your training experience and knowledge and understanding on acting and theatre in general. I would definitely recommend this program to any actor without a doubt."
C. Lake, participated in 2011
Scenes from St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy!
- Application Requirements -
In addition to SRAS's regular application procedures, applicants will be expected to submit an acting resume detailing their past experience and education in acting and at one (1) picture of the applicant participating in a performance or class. Applicants should also submit a copy of their transcripts showing any theater classes previous taken. These materials should be submitted to Josh Wilson, Assistant Director, SRAS, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applicants should have already completed one year of theater training or theater experience before applying. Applicants need not be currently enrolled in a university program. All applicants must be high school graduates. No prior knowledge of Russian required. All sessions are in English; some discussions maybe facilitated by an interpreter.
*Program Hosting: This program is overseen by SRAS Partner Nikolai Pesochinsky at the St. Petersburg Theatre Arts Academy.
*Credit Transfer and Transcripts: How many credits your home university may award depends entirely on your home university. SRAS recommends discussing this with your advisor and SRAS before you apply. Students planning on applying for credit transfer must read our FAQ page for more info. St. Petersburg Theatre Arts Academy, an accredited Russian institution of higher education, can issue a transcript for this program if requested. Students who will need a transcript must read our FAQ page for more information before applying for the program.