A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program Performs in Moscow

A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program students Aaron Moreland and Nemuna Ceesay in The House of Bernarda Alba. Photo by Alessandra Mello.
The A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program class of 2014 is just a few days away from leaving for Russia to attend the Stanislavsky Festival. The students will be spending a week in Moscow (October 15–21), where they will perform Federico García Lorca’s The House of Bernarda Alba and interact with acting students from around the world. The A.C.T. M.F.A. Program has been honored as the only U.S. acting school invited to attend this prestigious festival, and they will join students from acting schools in England, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Poland, France, and Russia. The theme of this year’s festival is “Open Class: Stanislavsky Continues” (honoring the 150th birthday of Konstantin Stanislavsky) and it is sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Culture, the Moscow Art Theatre, and The Moscow Art Theatre School.

Says Smith, “We feel tremendously honored that our M.F.A. program has been invited to participate in this festival with other drama schools from Europeand Russia. The occasion promises to offer a multi-faceted collision of culture, theater, and approaches to the art and craft of acting. Sharing work with students from different cultures and training programs is going to be an invaluable educational experience.”   

Our students and their fearless and inspiring director Stephen Buescher (Head of Movement in the A.C.T. M.F.A. Program) have been preparing for weeks to remount their incredible production of Bernarda Alba, which they performed last spring at The Costume Shop, A.C.T.’s funky new downtown performance space. Old scripts were dug out with blocking notes scribbled in the margins, and the student actors are once again preparing to walk in the shoes of characters they initially discovered and created months ago.

A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program student Asher Grodman in The House of Bernarda Alba. Photo by Alessandra Mello.
For this production of Bernarda Alba, Buescher and the class of 2014 have truly reimagined this beautiful work. While remaining true to Lorca's script, they have pushed the boundaries of what a "traditional" production might look like. Male actors have been added into what was originally written as an all-female production, playing both men and women in the play. There is music, beautiful movement, and puppetry, but also simplicity within the bold choices this cast has made to lift this particular production of this play into something no one has seen before. The result is a powerful, original piece, and the students can't wait to share it with peers from acting schools across the globe.

In addition to performing Bernarda Alba, the students will be taking part, along with Buescher and A.C.T. Conservatory Director Melissa Smith, in discussions, workshops, and master classes with acting students and professors from all over the world. This truly will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them that has the potential to segue into new relationships and future partnerships for the M.F.A. Program.

A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program students (clockwise from top left) Nemuna Ceesay, Lisa Kitchens, Blair Busbee, and Elyse Price in The House of Bernarda Alba. Photo by Alessandra Mello.
You can check out the festival's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Открытый-урок-Станиславский-продолжается-Фестиваль-актерских-школ-мира/499191096765761 to see photos from productions by the other acting schools who are participating in the festival.

Follow their journey by searching for hashtag #ACTinMoscow for updates on Facebook and Twitter.

Bon voyage and break a leg, M.F.A. Program class of 2014! 

Related Posts

Thursday, October 25, 2012
M.F.A. Program Students in Moscow: Asher Grodman

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
M.F.A. Program Students in Moscow: Philip Estrera

Thursday, October 11, 2012
A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program Performs in Moscow

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