What’s good theatre anyway??

This week has been one crazy journey.  MXAT is hosting the Stanislavsky festival to celebrate his 150th birthday.  I know what you’re thinking… “Michael, Stanislavsky’s birthday is not until January! WHY ARE THEY CELEBRATING NOW?!?!”  Well, my friend, they just are!  So, MXAT is playing host to numerous theatre schools from around the world (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Hungary, and even the US)

The shows have been going on all week, and since there were a limited number of seats available for each show I made the Hungarian production my number one choice.  Other students’s reactions the the other country’s ranged from bad to worse.  Tonight, when I was entering the Hungarian production of Spring Awakening…the play not the musical I had some very serious doubts of the quality of theatre I was going to be seeing.

Let me change the subject to a little background about who I am.  I am a pretty free and open person.  I’ll share my story with anyone who has the time to listen.  No subject is taboo. I curse too much.  I laugh too loud.  and I have a great love for videos on youtube of people falling or hurting themselves.  I make crude jokes…that sometimes do not go over well.  And, the big one, I’ll make a scene anywhere!

Back to Spring Awakening.  I don’t really know how to describe it other than I giant sexcapade gone wrong.  There was nudity from women and men for no apparent reason.  I was genuinely offended by the exploitation of sex throughout the production and at the end there was a crucifixion of a baby doll.  All in all it seemed like they were going for shock value over substance.  It was the worst thing I’ve seen in Moscow to date.

But, this week I have also had my number one theatre experience of all time.  I don’t know if it will ever be topped.  It was an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.  The play was in an old art gallery.  The stage was raked and my chair in the audience was made for a child.  Little of Shakespeare’s text appeared in this production, but it didn’t really matter.  The use of puppets, text (created specifically for this production), and singing made the story so easy to follow.  There was nudity in a sense in this production as well.  Puppet nudity, but in the realm of this play it was real nudity.  At one point one of the giant puppets relieved itself on stage.  In contrast to the Hungarian production all the things that happened during the course of this production were justified and eerily beautiful.  To say I liked or even loved this play would be a drastic understatement.  I encourage you all to read the links I post..to just get a taste of what happened to be the other night!

http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/dream-as-you-like-it/rehearsal-photos.aspx

http://bloggingshakespeare.com/year-of-shakespeare-a-midsummer-nights-dream-as-you-like-it

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2012/aug/15/midsummer-nights-dream-as-you-like-it-review

http://www.rsc.org.uk/whats-on/dream-as-you-like-it/dmitry-krymov.aspx

So much awesome theatre is created in the most unexpected of places! GO FIND IT!

 

Another positive thing about my time here so far is that I have lost a lot of weight.  I’m not exactly sure (in lbs) because we don’t have access to a scale BUT I do know that none of the belts I brought with me fit anymore and I am swimming in my jeans.

If, when I get back, you want to do some of the movement work that has led me to my weight loss let me know.  All you need is a partner and a whole lot of will power.  REMEMBER your body will always want to stop moving…you have to learn how to tell it not to.  AND Pain is good.  It’s how you know you’re alive.

I ran in to Jessye Norman…that was exciting to say the least…

Chekhov’s short plays are so GOOOOOOD!

ANNNNNNNNND!!!!!! I really can’t wait for College Night…just thought I’d throw that little tidbit in!

 

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