Junior acting majors begin journey to Moscow


Junior acting majors do a warm-up exercise before their auditions for productions in the spring semester. The class must audition in advance as they leave for their three-month study abroad trip to Moscow Sept. 15.

By Deanna Frances

DeKalb | Twelve junior bachelor of fine arts acting majors travel to Moscow Sept. 15 for a three-month study abroad program.

The students will study six days a week at the Moscow Art Theatre. Alexander Gelman, director of the School of Theatre and Dance, said the students will study classes ranging from stage combat to Russian theater history.

“They’ll also be doing a big part of a major play,” Gelman said. “The vast majority think of it as a life-changing experience.”

Gelman said the school is based on the teachings of K. S. Stanislavski and V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko. Their acting method is taught at the School of Theatre and Dance, said Dominic “Nico” Fernandez, a junior acting major who will attend the Moscow trip.

“It’s pretty awesome to study theater in the heart of where our method of acting was born,” Fernandez said.

Besides six days a week of classes, the students will spend their Sundays exploring the sights of Russia.

“Sunday is our off day, and there’s one weekend that we get to go to St. Petersburg,” said junior acting major Jaelyn Hawkins. “Students that have gone in the past have given us a list of things to see on our Sundays. We’re encouraged to get out there and see other things.”

Junior acting major Alex Pappas said he sees his classmate as family and spending time with them in Moscow will enhance the experience.

“We all have such an incredible family dynamic,” Pappas said. “We all come from similar places, don’t have a lot of worldly experience and we’ll be there for each other and help each other out as a backbone as we go through this together. We’re really going to grow.”