Russian Theatre and Performance

Russian Federation
Russian Theatre and Performance
  • Apply Now
Dates, Deadlines, and Costs
TermApp DeadlineStart DateEnd DateCost
SummerFebruary 25mid-Maylate MayBudget
Program Information
  • GPA
  • 2.5
  • Language of Instruction
  • English, Russian
  • Foreign Language Requirement
  • No
  • Class Eligibility
  • Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior, Graduate
  • Program Open To
  • UA and Non-UA Students
  • Credit Type
  • UA Direct Credit
  • Level of Study
  • Graduate, Undergraduate
  • Housing Options
  • Residence Hall
  • Program Type
  • Short Term Explorations
Program Overview

Study acting and performance at the world-renowned Moscow Art Theatre School (MATS)!  Spend your days learning the Stanislavsky acting method from Russia's top theatre masters, and your nights immersed in performances at Moscow's most prominent theatres.


Tentative Summer 2019 dates: May 11 to May 27

The program's tentative dates may help you organize your upcoming summer plans.  However, please do not buy your airline tickets until you have received instructions from UA Study Abroad.

The first two weeks of the program will take place in Moscow, where students will take part in rigorous classes on acting and movement.  The third week of the program will be hosted online and comprised of written reflections and blogs/vlogs based on the student study abroad experience.

Students can choose to enroll in one of the three-credit courses below:

  • TAR 496A/596A: Special Topics in Theatre History: Russian Theatre and Performance: This course examines, through both applied practice and theoretical and historical study, how the actor's craft has been and continues to be practiced and taught in the United States and Russia. It also explores the political, social, historical, and theatrical influences that helped to produce the plays and acting pedagogy of the period. Through practical studio classes, we will learn aspects of the Stanislavsky’s acting method, and through lecture and discussion we will begin to analyze how his techniques are translated into the actor training and practice we see in much contemporary work in American actor training and professional practice in television, film, and realist theatre. We will also explore the history of drama, performance, and actor pedagogy in Russian theatre from 1835 to the present day. Finally we will explore how Russian and American theatre makers and performers have reacted to the overarching presence of realism in their theatres by making non-representational art that challenged the status quo. In our discussions, we will compare the politically informed work of the feminist punk-rock group Pussy Riot with other avant-garde theatre-makers of the past and present, both Russian and American. By the end of the course, students will have been introduced to a variety of the acting skills taught in Stanislavsky’s method, and have a deeper understanding of Russian theater history and acting pedagogy and its continued impact on contemporary political contexts and popular culture in Russian and the United States.


  • RSSS 415/515 Advanced Topics: Russian Theatre and Performance: This course covers the history of Russian theatre and performance from its beginnings to the present day. Housed at the world-renowned Moscow Art Theatre, our lectures and discussions will address such questions as: Why do Russian artists and performers utilize the stage for political protest? What made Moscow the hotbed for theatre innovation in the 20th century? How do contemporary Russian theatre-makers address social, political, and generational conflicts? To help better answer these questions, we will visit Moscow’s famous museums and theatres—both traditional and avant-garde—with an eye to the ever-changing landscape of Russian theatre. Students wishing to take the course for graduate credit should email Dr. Colleen Lucey ( for details.

*Classes with faculty from the Moscow Art Theatre will be conducted in Russian with an experienced interpreter translating for students and staff. No previous knowledge of Russian is required.


Students stay at the Moscow Art Theatre Dormitory located in the heart of the city, approximately 10 minutes by bus/metro to Red Square. The dormitory has a gym, wifi, and shared kitchens on each floor.


Colleen Lucey, PhD (Russian & Slavic Studies Department)

Colleen Lucey holds a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include gender and women's studies in Russian literature and visual culture, graphic art and satire of the 19th century, and Russian theatre and performance.  Her research has been supported by the Title VIII Research Scholar Program, the US. Department of State, and the Foreign Language & Area Studies Program.   

Prior to graduate studies in the US, Dr. Lucey worked as the International Program Coordinator at the Moscow Art Theatre School from 2006 to 2009. In this position she oversaw the Moscow Art Theatre School's American Studio and coordinated programs with several institutions, including Harvard University's ART Program, the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's NTI semester in Russia, and Kent University's study abroad at MATS.  


Greg Pierotti, MFA (School of Theatre, Film & Television)

Greg Pierotti is an assistant professor of dramaturgy, collaborative playmaking, and performance at the University of Arizona. He has been a teacher of theatrical devising for twenty years. He is co-writer of the plays The Laramie ProjectLaramie:10 Years later, and The People’s Temple and the HBO teleplay The Laramie Project. For these and other works he received the Bay Area Theater Critics Award, a Will Glickman Award, and the Humanitas Prize, and received NY Drama Desk, Alpert and Emmy award nominations. His residencies as a playwright, dramaturge and director include Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor, Sundance Theater Lab, and Maison Dora Maar. As an actor he has performed in such theaters as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, La Jolla Playhouse, The Union Square Theater, and The Denver Center to name a few. He has developed performances as an actor using Stanislavsky’s method of Active Analysis. In his most recent improvisation course at the University of Arizona, he has expanded the curriculum beyond the theatre games that are most frequently taught in improv classes to include a variety of improvisational techniques including Stanislavsky’s improvisational rehearsal practices.

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