Moscow Art Theater Semester (MATS)
Offered in the fall only – 20 credit hours or 5 course credits
The Moscow Art Theater was established in 1898 by Konstantin Stanislavsky and V.I. Nemirovich-Danchenko who, in their mission to discover the truth in drama, discovered that its essence is the ensemble. Through their close association with Anton Chekhov and his plays and through Stanislavsky’s influential teachings, The Moscow Art Theater became the birthplace of modern theater and modern actor training.
NTI has been collaborating with the Moscow Art Theater and offering our MATS program for 20 years. Ours is the ONLY American program where undergraduate students from all over the country can train for an entire semester at the Moscow Art Theater School and work with members of one of the most accomplished and groundbreaking theaters in the world.
“The intense training and cultural experience at MATS stretched me in every way possible: physically, emotionally, intellectually, and—most profoundly—artistically. It remains one of the most challenging and rewarding endeavors of my life." Etai BenShlomo, MATS Fall ‘07
Greetings from Moscow
Twenty years ago the Moscow Art Theatre Semester was founded. It is extraordinary to imagine the many changes that have taken place in Russian culture in the last decade. Since 1991 we have hosted hundreds of American theater students looking for a unique opportunity to study at our world famous theater, the home of Stanislavsky and Anton Chekhov, located in the heart of Moscow.
Let me anticipate your questions. Why should I go to that cold country? So far away? Without speaking Russian? Where and what will I eat? Where will I live?
Why go? We offer a total immersion in the craft of theater; we offer multiple goals for a variety of students' needs and desires. You will experience the vitality of one of the world's first-class theaters and Moscow's best teachers. Our faculty (most of them also teach graduate students in Harvard's A.R.T. MFA program) are practitioners of a physical, exciting, "total" approach to theater training.
You'll live in a comfortable, secure dorm. You'll eat at the cafeteria of the Moscow Art Theatre. Don't worry that you speak another language. Our teachers speak English or are brilliantly translated.
Twenty years of experience has proven the language of theater is universal.
I invite you to be part of our tradition. Come to Moscow, challenge yourself as a professional. There are very few places in the world where theater truly matters. This is one.
In this highly competitive, 13-week study abroad program, you live and study in the vibrant city of Moscow, visit cultural sites, see theater and train with master teachers of the Moscow Art Theater School. Classes are held six days a week, form 9am to 5:30 pm. Daily acting classes in the Stanislavsky System, the Michael Chekhov Technique, and movement classes (including Biomechanics and ballet) are complemented with voice, design, Russian language and Russian theater history. This is the ONLY program through which undergraduates from all over America can study at MATS for an entire semester.
Culture & Travel
"Moscow is a city alive with theatre." Rachel Anderson, MATS Fall '01
This immersion in conservatory-based training is enhanced by the rich cultural life of Moscow. Every student will frequently attend the theater, opera, ballet, concerts and museum exhibits: as many as 40 to 50 shows in one semester! Tickets are provided as an integral part of the cultural program.
During their stay in Russia, students will also travel for several days to St. Petersburg for a guided tour of Russia’s old capital city.
Russian language experience is encouraged but not required, since many classes are in English and others have excellent translators.
"My semester in Moscow began every morning with a Metro ride to Tverskaya Street where, a few blocks from Red Square, our classrooms were located." Lex Leifheit, Spring '98
MATS students live in the centrally located and newly renovated Moscow Art Theater School dormitory with a dining room, WiFi Internet access and excellent security.
20 credit hours or 5 course credits. Connecticut College is the college of record for NTI.
One semester of academic credit is awarded to undergraduates who successfully complete the program. All classes are taught on the premises of the Moscow Art Theatre. At the end of the MATS semester, grades are reported to Connecticut College where they are put on an official transcript and forwarded to the student's college or university registrar upon request.
Admission to MATS is competitive; applicants are encouraged to apply well in advance of the deadlines – please note that it is only offered in the fall. Click here for the Application.
Fall Semester: March 20 deadline
"Without knowing a word of Russian, I took a leap of faith. We all spoke in a language that was more than words and more than sounds. I learned to exceed what I thought were my limitations." Michael Lepore, Spring '95
"It is true that the program is exhausting, but you needn't worry about anything else other than expanding your abilities as an artist." Kat McIntosh, MATS Spring '97
Daily classes in all phases of acting technique with special emphasis on the style that characterized Russian theater: Stanislavsky and the Expressionist Directors. Extensive scene work concentrating on Russian dramatists such as Chekhov, Gogol, Gorky, and Ostrovsky, as well as contemporary playwrights.
Movement & Voice
Daily classes in vocal technique, production and singing. Movement classes include Biomechanics, mime, classical folk dance, scenic movement and ballet. Classes focus on developing the actor’s imagination in connection with the training and development of the physical and vocal instrument.
Russian Theater History & Cinema
This course is designed to familiarize students with the rich history of the Russian cinema and theater, especially the Moscow Art Theater and the Stanislavsky System. In addition to regular lectures, an integral part of the course includes theater, museum and cultural visits.
An introduction to the world of Russian set and costume design and to the production itself. Prominent designers talk about design theory and history, plus students visit the costume department of The State Armory, Russia’s oldest museum
Intensive language immersion appropriate for beginning and intermediate levels. Advanced level students will have special classes to improve their language skills.