M.F.A. Program Students in Moscow: Elyse Price

The A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program class of 2014 recently returned from Moscow, where they were honored as the only U.S. acting school invited to attend the prestigious Stanislavsky Festival. They performed Federico García Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba, were featured on the evening news, and interacted with students from England, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Poland, France, and Russia.

We asked the students to share their photos and reflections from this unforgettable trip. To read more about their experiences, search for hashtag #ACTinMoscow on Facebook and Twitter.

A backstage sign at Moscow Art Theatre. Photo courtesy Elyse Price.
Elyse Price

Dobre OOtra!

Good morning from the foggy streets of Moscow City. I woke up this morning to the smell of cigarette smoke and the sensation of the cold, crisp Russian air creeping in through my hotel room window. This is not a complaint, rather a surreal reckoning.

In this past week, several of my dreams have come true. For this entry, I’ll focus on Wednesday’s.

On the day of the performance, my class and I were greeted at the theatre with individual dressing rooms, water bottles, laundry service—the whole nine! After getting settled in my space, I walked into the theatre. Gulp. The stage was set. Our linoleum platform, the windows, the green shutters in all their glory! Is this a dream? The massive projector screen flies out and we are ready to be translated into Russian. We managed to run through all of the costume quick changes with our Russian team and then it was magically time for a lunch break. Time flies fast when the focus is fierce amongst the ensemble.

After a few bites of buckwheat and stew (deliciously crafted by the MXAT babushkas) we returned for the last leg of tech. After going cue to cue through the show in what seemed like mere seconds, 6 p.m. arrived.

Now is the time.

The fabulous Mr. Daley calmly requests, “Ladies and Gentlemen, please get into costume and check your props.”

NOW is the time.

Costume on. Hair pulled back. Voice warmed. Body stretch. Awareness of space.

I hear Ilya’s voice asking for all actors to get into place. I see my classmates and Stephen, filling in the backstage area one by one. 

We are all ready. Circle up. Hands held. Sweaty palms. We are ready. Three breaths together and GO!


From that moment on, we did our jobs. The theatre was huge but I’m proud to say that we filled it with our story. The rope was pulled taught and “Allelujiah” was begged through tears of rage and pain in the Alba family.


The audience's applause matched my heart beat racing. I couldn’t be more proud to have the opportunity to share Bernarda Alba with some of the top Acting schools in the world at the Moscow Art Theatre.

All that’s left to say is an endless thank you to every person who has supported this waking dream.

Thank you endlessly. 

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