Theatre students studying abroad at Moscow Art Theatre

June 13, 2019 | News, UToday, Arts and Letters
By Angela Riddel

Two students and a faculty member from The University of Toledo Department of Theatre and Film are in Russia for the month of June as part of a study abroad experience at the Moscow Art Theatre.

In addition to taking classes with the theatre, the students, Bailey Flint and Gillian Martin, have received grants to work behind the scenes on a collaboration with the International Public Theatre at Moscow’s Meyerhold Center. The production is directed and written by Dr. Matt Foss, UToledo assistant professor of theatre.

Bailey Flint, left, Dr. Matt Foss and Gillian Martin posed for a photo on campus before leaving for Russia.

The students are taking a full range of classes six days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and watch plays most evenings.

“[We] will see about 28 plays in like 30 days. So we don’t have much time to venture too far out,” Flint said. “But we’re pretty much in the heart of Moscow, so there’s a lot to see around where we’re at.”

The University of Toledo collaboration with the International Public Theatre and Meyerhold Center will perform Sunday and Monday, June 16 and 17. The students are rehearsing with their Russian counterparts in preparation for the production.

Flint, who is majoring in theatre and media communications and is a punter for the football team, said, “I will act as a deck manager and understudy to one of the main Russian actors.”

Martin, who is majoring in media communications and minoring in theatre, also will be part of the crew for the show. “I’ll be serving as a stage manager, so I will be doing a lot of the sound cues,” she said. “We all kind of get a hand in the experience and to be a part of the production, which is really cool.”

The students received Undergraduate Summer Research and Creative Activities Program Grants to support their work on the production. Martin and Flint will work with the UToledo Office of Undergraduate Research to reflect on their work and present at a symposium in August.

The Moscow Art Theatre is home to Anton Chekhov’s plays and Konstantin Stanislavsky — a pioneer in modern actor training. This is the second year UToledo students have traveled to train and study at one of the world’s leading theater schools.

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