The crux of my scholarship in Russian literature and history has focused on investigating innovations in Russian theater and coming closer to the nature and roots of Russian performance that have sometimes been marred by hasty translations and clouded by censorship.
This academic year I will study and stage performances at the School of Dramatic Art, formerly under the direction of Anatoly Vasiliev, in Moscow. The School of Dramatic Art identifies itself as a theater laboratory working with the method known as the Theater of Players. This method derives its name from game theory and has the explicit intention of engaging the actor in a game with the author of the dramatic text, the audience and his own instinct. The concepts that the Theater of Players set forth examine critical visual, auditory and sensual aspects of awareness as creative states in a physically engaging and holistic manner. It is one of the few forms of training dedicated to building upon the ideas central to the seminal writings of Stanislavsky, M. Chekhov, Meyerhold, Vakhtangov and Maria Knebel. The Theater of Players exemplifies a healthy individual-based performance system with the potential to blaze a trail for the direction of performance in the 21st century.
I am very grateful to the Fulbright program for giving me this opportunity. This will be my third year of theater research in Russia. I studied in the department of directing at the Russian State Institute of Theater Arts (GITIS) while an undergraduate Russian major at Bryn Mawr College and later studied plastika choreography and training at Boris Schukin Institute of the Vakhtangov Theater for my Master’s research through Middlebury College. I have directed, acted and language interpreted in several productions in American academic programs and professional theaters. Currently I teach the Russian language and methods of acting in the U.S. I plan to continue my research and teaching as a Ph.D. student in a Slavic Languages and Literatures department and be a liaison of exchange between a U.S. university and Russian institute.