Moscow Art Theater Semester (MATS)
Fall '14 Semester: Sep. 14 to Dec. 14
20 credit hour program (5 course credits)
"More than twenty years ago we created the Moscow Art Theater Semester with the O'Neill. 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.
Why go to MATS? We offer a total immersion in the craft of theater. You will experience the vitality of one of the world's first-class theaters and Moscow's best teachers. Come to Moscow to challenge yourself as a professional. There are very few places in the world where theater truly matters. This is one."
— ANATOLY SMELIANSKY
President, Moscow Art Theater School
In this highly competitive 13-week study abroad program offered only in the Fall semester, 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. Students 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, from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.
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 for more than 20 years. It is the only American program where 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 theaters in the world.
"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
Connecticut College is the college of record for all five programs of the Eugene O′Neill Theater Center’s National Theater Institute including the Moscow Art Theatre Semester (MATS) offered in Moscow, Russia. The Connecticut College-approved course descriptions are below. One semester of academic credit (20 credit hours or 5 course credits) is awarded to undergraduates who successfully complete the program. At the end of the MATS semester, final grades are reported to Connecticut College where they are recorded by official transcript and forwarded to the student’s college or university registrar upon request.
ACTING (253) Daily classes in all phases of acting technique with special emphasis on Stanislavsky and the Expressionist directors. Extensive scene work concentrating on Russian dramatists such as Chekov, Gorky, Gogol, Ostrovsky, as well as contemporary playwrights.
MOVEMENT AND VOICE (310) 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 AND CINEMA (251) Designed to familiarize students with the rich history of the Russian cinema and theater, especially the Moscow Art Theatre and the Stanislavsky System, the course includes regular lectures as well as theater, museum, and cultural visits.
DESIGN (254) An introduction to the world of Russian set and costume design and to the profession itself as prominent designers discuss design theory and history.
RUSSIAN LANGUAGE (252) Intensive language immersion appropriate for beginning and intermediate level students of the Russian language. Advanced level students have special classes to improve their language skills.
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 40-50 shows in one semester. Tickets are provided as an integral part of the cultural program. During their stay in Russia, students may 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.
**Russian language experience is encouraged but not required, since many classes are in English and others have excellent translators.
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.
Anatoly Smeliansky - President, Moscow Art Theater School & Teacher of Russian Theater History
Russia's foremost biographer of Stanislavsky and a leading writer, scholar and critic of Russian theater, Dr. Smeliansky is the Associate Artistic Director of the Moscow Art Theater and the Dean of the Moscow Art Theater School (MATS). He is Editor-in-Chief of Complete Works by Stanislavsky and The Moscow Art Theater: 100 Years. His books include Is Comrade Bulgakov Dead? and Russian Theater After Stalin. Dr. Smeliansky has lectured on Russian theater in the United States at Columbia, Carnegie Mellon, Georgetown, Harvard, Princeton and Yale, as well as the Sorbonne in France and at Cambridge and Oxford in England. He is one of the founders of the MFA program in acting and dramaturgy at Harvard University's Institute for Advanced Theater Training and their Moscow Art Theater School USA.
Galina Aksenova, History of Cinema
Theater and film historian, critic, author and producer; studied at the Institute of Theater, Music and Choreography in St. Petersburg and received her PhD at Moscow's State Institute of Theater Art. Associate Professor of Cinema at MATS
Larisa Dmitrieva, Dance
Bolshoi Ballet prima ballerina. MATS Professor of Dance. Has performed on every major ballet stage in the world.
Andrei Droznin, Movement
One of Russia's most distinguished movement teachers. His unique system of training, which combines Meyerhold's Biomechanics and Stanislavsky's Method, has become an essential part of theater training programs throughout the world. Head of Movement for Harvard's Institute for Advanced Theater Training.
Natalia Fedorva, Movement
Studied at the Vakhtangov Theatre with Andrei Droznin. Movement teacher at MATS; choreographer for many Russian theaters. Workshops draw on the traditions of Stanislavsky, Meyerhold and Vakhtangov.
Elena Lisina, Russian Language
MATS Faculty, teaching Russian language for foreign students.
Mikhail Lobanov, Acting
MATS Professor. His class focuses on technique aimed at awakening the actor's imagination, emotional memory and stage awareness. Combines Stanislavsky System with Michael Chekhov.
Eleonora Maklakova, Design
MATS Professor, Department of Production Design Technology. Developed costume design program for MATS. A leading designer for the Novaya Opera.
Michael Ovchinnikov, Acting
Graduate of MXAT and Meyerhold Centre; a director and actor who has directed several shows for MATS; interested in avant-garde and drama.
Vladimir Petrov, Acting
MATS Faculty and theater director. Has directed many productions at MATS and at theaters in Russia and abroad.
Evgeny Pisarev, Acting
MATS Faculty and director of several successful MXAT shows; Associate Director on Declan Donnellan's productions.
Alexander Rezalin, Acting
Actor of Russian TV and cinema.
Victor Rishakov, Acting
Vladimir Sazhin, Movement
MATS Faculty. Actor of Stanislavsky theater, director of plastic performances.
Marina Smirnova, Singing
MATS Faculty. A leading teacher of voice and singing for more than 20 years.
Sergei Zemstov, Acting
Dean of the MATS Acting Department. Has taught acting in Paris at L'Ecole du Passage, and has performed throughout Russia.
Igor Zolotovitsky, Acting
MATS Faculty. Has taught acting in Paris, Italy, Spain. Actor at the Moscow Art Theater and of Russian TV and cinema.
Oleg Tabakov, Artistic Director, Moscow Art Theater
Anatoly Smeliansky, Associate Artistic Director of the Moscow Art Theater/Head of MXAT
"I'll never meet a group of teachers as collectively wonderful again as the MATS teachers. Nothing could compare to their knowledge, passion, and ability to bring out the best in all of us through hard work."
- Rachel Anderson, Fall '01
FALL 2014 SEMESTER
Tuition: $15,800 (includes $900 non-refundable reservation deposit)
Room Only: $6,250
Travel & Culture: $1,600
Total Comprehensive Fee: $23,250
MEALS ARE NOT INCLUDED IN THE COMPREHENSIVE FEE
In addition to the comprehensive fee all students will be responsible for paying for their visa and the processing fee. Meals are not included in the comprehensive fee. The dormitory has kitchen facilities, and the program provides guidance for shopping and inexpensive dining.
Application deadline March 20
When selecting students we look for a proven ability to handle the demands of disciplined theater work and to be a positive and contributing member of an ensemble. Applicants must demonstrate a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges of an intensive semester of study in Moscow, and a determination to complete the chosen program in a conscientious manner. Special attention is paid to the required letters of evaluation and to the interview process. All applicants are welcome, including post-graduates. NOTE: Russian language experience is not required for the MATS program.
Finalists for each program will be notified by phone and/or email to schedule an interview. It is ideal if the interview is conducted in person, however if that is not possible a Skype interview can be scheduled. Directions to NTI.
Completed Application Packages Should Include:
- Signed and dated NTI Application Form (more information)
- 8x10 headshot and a theater resume (the headshot can be an enlarged photo, it does not have to be a professional headshot if you don’t have one yet
- Official college transcript(s). These may be included in your application package or sent directly to us by your college(s) to the National Theater Institute
- An essay describing in approximately 500 words your aspirations in theater, and how you believe a semester at your desired National Theater Institute program can help you fulfill them. In that essay please note any experience with Russian language and culture (it is not necessary but helpful for us to know).
- Two (2) letters of evaluation from two teachers or qualified professionals familiar with your theater work. These may be included in your application package or sent directly to us by the evaluator. Please use the Evaluator Form PDF (more information)
- $40.00 USD application fee, payable by check or money order only. Please make checks payable to "Eugene O'Neill Theater Center."
Mail Application and Materials to:
NATIONAL THEATER INSTITUTE - MATS Eugene O'Neill Theater Center 305 Great Neck Road Waterford, CT 06385
When all application materials are received, you will be notified by phone and/or e-mail that your file is complete.
Details Regarding the NTI Application Form (download NTI Application Form, PDF) MATS applicants should apply using the Application Form for National Theater Institute Programs. Be sure to mark the appropriate sections for the Moscow Art Theater Semester. The forms can be printed out before being filled out, signed, and mailed. All information included on this website regarding applying to MATS is included on the form for your convenience. Adobe Reader® 7.0 is required. If you have questions or difficulty using these forms, please feel free to call or e-mail the National Theater Institute offices at (860) 443-7139 or email@example.com.
Details Regarding the Evaluator Form (download Evaluator Form, PDF, 128k) It is required that each MATS applicant submit two letters of evaluation from teachers or qualified professionals familiar with the applicant's theater work. Each letter should be completed using the Evaluator Form PDF. This evaluator form may be included with the application package, mailed directly to us by the evaluator.
Please review the following policies and related information before you complete your application:
Requirements for Admission
When selecting students we look for a proven ability to handle the demands of disciplined theater work and to be a positive and contributing member of an ensemble. Applicants must demonstrate a clear understanding of the opportunities and challenges of an intensive semester of study at the O'Neill or in Moscow, and a determination to complete the chosen program in a conscientious manner. Special attention is paid to the required letters of evaluation. All applicants are welcome, including post graduates. Finalists for each program will be notified by phone and/or email to schedule an interview.
Once you have received notification of acceptance into an NTI program, a non refundable deposit of $900.00 must be paid within 14 days or your position will not be held. This deposit is deductible from your total tuition charge. Payment of the remainder of your comprehensive fee will be arranged upon acceptance.
Check with your school's financial aid office to determine whether your existing loans, grants and scholarships can be applied to the National Theater Institute programs. In many instances they can be transferred. NTI has a limited and need based scholarship program. Please telephone the NTI office at 860-443-7139 if you have financial aid questions.
The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center assumes no medical expenses for its students. All students must have medical insurance coverage either through their parents, their personal insurance, or from their college or university.
The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center affirmatively seeks to attract to its faculty, staff, and student body persons of diverse backgrounds and, pursuant to this policy, no applicant for admission or applicant for employment is discriminated against because of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, national or ethnic origin.
QUESTIONS REGARDING YOUR APPLICATION? Please contact the NTI Administrative Assistant – (860) 443-5378 x226 or firstname.lastname@example.org – with any questions regarding your application.
NOTE: Early applications are encouraged, and will result in early notification.