TL;DR: Got to Russia; saw some theater; have class tomorrow; excited and nervous.
A lot has happened in the past two weeks. Long story short, I’m in Moscow now and start classes in less than eleven hours. I’m excited and nervous.
The first few days of MATS (Moscow Art Theatre Semester) took place at NTI (National Theater Institute (I checked and they spell it theatre in the program and theater in the name of the institute. Weird.)) in Connecticut. They gave us a lot of information, most of which I have since forgotten. Here’s a brief list of memories that I have: Russians are soft-spoken; theater is cheap and with our mxat (Moscow Art Theater School) IDs, we get into most theater for free; don’t talk about politics in public; Just because people don’t smile at you doesn’t mean they hate you; etc.. However, I think most of what we were told, I will come to discover on my own in the next three months.
In addition to many meetings, I also met all of the people with whom I will be studying for the semester. They seem lovely. I’m sure I’ll mention them later on in this blog.
After our NTI orientation, we had our flight to Moscow. My friend Tatiana (a nice woman from Belarus, whom I met on the plane) said it was the fastest flight to Moscow she’d ever been on. It was 7 hours and 45 minutes. We were told it would be 9, so that was a pleasant surprise. I watched a Russian animated movie called the Three Heroes. There was a talking horse. It was great. I also slept for 5ish hours.
We landed in Moscow and got bused over to our dorm, which is super nice. I saw a show with three other students the same night that we flew in, which was yesterday. Wild. My body clock is all over the place. We got to the dorm at around 3pm, and three other students and I saw a show last night at the Stanislavsky electrotheatre. It was so well directed and a student directed it. It made me feel like actors and directors in America are simply bad (that’s harsh, but Russian theater slaps. I’ll say it). Oh, also, before we saw the show, we went to this boujee restaurant that was attached to the theater, where at least two of us had the nicest meal we’d ever bought ourselves. I had halibut on a smelt risotto, and another person got braised lamb shoulder with a polenta and spinach puree. Both of these were under ten dollars. I wish I had a picture. Food is good and is cheap. Also, for the first time in my life I wasn’t at least 20 years younger than the average age of people seeing theater. Young people see theater here it’s awesome. After our outing, we went to bed.
Today we had a short orientation with the head of MXAT and the head of the MATS program. They were funny and told us to be cheerful. We were all nervous they’d have us do our monologues; in reality, they both talked for 5 minutes and then left. We also ate at the cafeteria which is dumb cheap and dumb good.
After our time at MXAT, we went to patriarchs pond which is a big part of Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, one of our required reading books. It was great. Afterwards, I went back to the dorm and chilled. Finally I recently got back from getting blinis at a Russian fast food place. Super good. Now, I’m gonna not proof read this and go to bed cause I am tired and have class in few hours.