About the program


Established in 1992, we are the oldest ongoing international program of the Moscow Art Theatre School.  In 2018 the program moved to Europe.  Our first European session took place in Riga, the capital of Latvia.

Join us in the pursuit of the Stanislavsky System the way it is taught in Russia today. We don’t teach a style, or a genre, instead we study the grammar of modern acting

Our curriculum includes daily Acting Technique (Stanislavsky and Michael Chekhov), and Scene Study (Chekhov, Gogol, Ostrovsky and modern Russian drama), Movement Training, Voice Coaching and Theatre History Seminar.

All classes are taught in English

Summer of 2019 in Riga

After 25 summers in America

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Choose the one that is right for you


Application: email your video audition; phone/video interview might be required

Concentration: exploring core elements of the system in scene study work

Workload: 9 hrs a day, including 4 hrs a day in the scene study class. Classes meet 6 days a week.

Choose between two sessions:
July 15-28 or July 29 - August 11, 2019

Tuition: €900

EXTENDED (4 weeks)

Application: email your video audition; phone/video interview might be required

Concentration: exploring core elements of the system in scene study work

Workload: 9 hrs a day, including 4 hrs a day in the scene study class. Classes meet 6 days a week.

One session only:
July 15 - August 11, 2019

Tuition: €1,800

ADVANCED (4 weeks)

Application: email your video audition; we will get in touch to schedule an interview by video

Concentration:  rehearsing a role in a staged reading project to be presented at the end of the program

Workload: 7,5 hrs a day, including 6 hrs a day rehearsals. Classes meet 6 days a week.

One session only:
July 15 - August 11, 2019

Tuition: €1,800

How to apply

  1. Choose the option that you believe is right for you (you can change your mind later).

  2. Fill out and submit the online application form.

  3. Upload your video audition (duration 3 minutes or less) to YouTube or Vimeo.

  4. Pay the application fee of €35.

  5. We will get in touch with you upon reviewing your audition package. As part of the application process we may need to set up an interview with some of you.

  6. Once accepted, please fill out and submit the Enrollment contract and pay the Security Deposit to secure your place in the program.  

We accept all major credit/debit cards. Your payment will be processed by PayPal. You are not required to have PayPal account.

SSS '19



Students will concentrate their work in the following areas:

•special breathing technique;
•relaxation exercises and basics of meditation;
•stage awareness;
•imagination and boldness on stage;
• emotional memory and emotional awareness;
•partner and stage interaction;
•stage improvisation;
• creative games and stage freedom;
•basics of psychoanalysis and text analysis.


Our movement training is based on the teaching of Andrey Droznin.  It is a combination of the tradition of Russian psychological theatre (Stanislavsky and Evgeni Vakhtangov) with the crucial discoveries of Russian avant-garde directors of the 20th century (Meyerhold biomechanics, Tairoff's elastic training, emphasized space of Les Kurbas, etc.)

The program includes elements of stage, circus and trick acrobatics; locomotor skills – walking, jogging, jumping, hurdling, falls; stage combat and slow motion technique.




Main topics for this class will include the following: 

  1. The personality of Stanislavsky in his unpublished diaries and letters.How is the new theatre coming about.

  2. The Stanislavsky System: myth and reality.

  3. Stanislavsky in the context of Russian and world theatre (Stanislavsky and Meyerhold, Stanislavsky and Brecht, Stanislavsky and contemporary theatre.)

  4. America in the life of the Moscow Art Theatre.

  5. Beyond My Life In Art (Stanislavsky after the revolution.)

Suggested reading:

  1. Jean Benedetti. The Moscow Art Theatre Letters.

  2. Mikhail Bulgakov. Black Snow.

  3. Donald Rayfield. Anton Chekhov: A Life

  4. Anatoly Smeliansky. Is Comrade Bulgakov Dead?..


Students will be working on some of the following plays: 

  1. Anton Chekhov: Ivanov, The Cherry Orchard, Uncle Vanya, The Seagull, Three Sisters

  2. Alexander Ostrovsky: Diary of A Scoundrel, Talents & Admirers, The Storm.

  3. Ivan Turgenev: Month in the Country

In preparation for the Summer School we recommend that you read:

  1. Konstantin Stanislavsky. My Life In Art and An Actor Prepares.

  2. Michael Chekhov. Technique of Acting.

  3. Articles by Evgeny Vakhtangov and Vasily Toporkov in Actors on Acting

Application form

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Include your major roles (production/theatre/director/year)
Include here both formal education (BA, MFA, etc.) and professional workshops

Faculty and Staff

Marina Belenky   Program Director

Marina Belenky
Program Director

Alexander Popov   President & Co-Founder

Alexander Popov
President & Co-Founder


The Moscow Art Theatre came into existence thanks to the joint efforts of actor/director Konstantin Stanislavsky and playwright/acting teacher Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko. The theatre was conceived over a dinner at the private dining room of the Slavyansky Bazaar restaurant on June 22, 1897.  The dinner that the founders shared, lasted around 18 hours. They stayed at the restaurant till late at night, and then decided to move to Stanislavsky’s country house in the suburbs where the meeting ended at the crack of dawn.  In the course of that meeting they managed to discuss every potential company member; to agree on the prospective repertoire of plays; to choose the form of corporate governance; and, most importantly, to set the ethical principles of this new endeavor. 

Sixteen months after the meeting the new company opened its inaugural season to the overwhelming acclaim of theatregoers and critics alike. The Seagull by Chekhov was part of the new company’s first season and became the company’s signature piece and its logo.  All his subsequent pieces, Uncle Vanya, Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard, Chekhov wrote for the Moscow Art Theatre and they were premiered there.  

Moscow Art Theatre is justly considered a birthplace of modern directing; a home of the most notable playwrights of the 20th century (Chekhov, Gorky, Bulgakov and many others); and the cradle of the Stanislavsky system of acting. It was the first theatre to introduce seasonal programming based on a set artistic goals; and the first theatre where the playwright, the director, and the resident ensemble of actors are equally essential. 

A subsequent major page in the Moscow Art Theatre history was the unprecedented two-year-long tour of Europe and the US in 1922-1924. That tour made the company a world treasure. It was during this tour that the Stanislavsky system, known as the Method in the West, became the golden standard of actors’ training.  

Celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2018, Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre remains on the forefront of the artistic pursuit. We are a company of 120 actors with a rotating repertoire of nearly 60 productions that are presented every night on the three stages. The company maintains close ties with its training program – world-renowned Moscow Art Theatre School, regarded as the leading theatre school in Russia, and with the Moscow Art Theatre Museum that preserves and develops their unique and most valuable theatre collection.  

Frequently asked questions (F.A.Q.)

What is the Stanislavsky Summer School?

Why do I need it?


What are the dates?

Why Riga?


Where is the School located?

What is the schedule of classes like?


What languages are spoken at the School?

How many students are in a group?

Is the program designed primarily for the Americans?

How much will I have to pay?

What about room and board?

Do I need a visa to go to Latvia?

I have one more question...

We are the oldest international program of the renowned Moscow Art Theatre School. Established in 1992 in Boston by Oleg Tabakov, Artistic Director of the Chekhov Moscow Art Theatre who was then the Dean of the Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT) School, it has recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. While our first class was only 17 students, we have trained over 750 students total.

We can't answer this question for you. We teach Stanislavsky System the way it is taught today at the Moscow Art Theatre School. We are the teachers of that School, actors and directors of the Moscow Art Theatre. We think that the Stanislavsky System is the grammar of acting. We are not teaching a particular style, or a genre. Instead we are trying to help each actor finding a way to him or her own self.

Our summer session runs for four weeks in July and August

Two reasons: first of all we are in love with the city!  Secondly, our friends in Riga really liked the idea of us coming. We thought it was time to change the set, to broaden the circle of friends and students. We are certain – you will also like it in Riga!

You will find us on a quiet street in the city center, near the Train Station. In the Cultural Center The Moscow House.  Here we found everything we need to run the summer school: well lit classrooms and studios, wide hallways, showers, and even a green room and a cafeteria. 

Here is the schedule for the Intro and Extended groups. Morning classes (9:00 - 12:00) are scheduled in groups – acting exercises, movement, and voice. After lunch break there is a Master Class for the entire School (13:00 - 15:00). The rest of the day there are scene study rehearsals (15:30 - 19:30) – both faculty supervised and independent.  Classes are scheduled Monday through Saturday, Sunday is off. The program culminates with the Scene Study Showcase for invited audiences. 

All classes at the School are taught in English. Some exceptions can be made in the Scene Study class. Our directors speak Russian, English and Latvian.  

Each group is usually 10-15 students. 

No. In 25 years in the United States we have worked with students from 22 countries, and we certainly hope to expand that list!

Tuition is from €900 to €1,800. This amount does not include room and board. You can make your payment here uising major credit card or PayPal account. 

We offer single- and double-room housing at special rates in hotels and hostels nearby the School. The canteen at the School will be serving hot meals twice a day. 

Most likely, you will not need a visa, since Latvia is EU member, as well as Schengen Treaty participant. Latvia also has visa waiver treaties with many other countries. For a full list please visit this link

Please use the form below to ask your questions, or call our office. 

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