Directing for variety show
The training of directors for various genres of variety arts began in our institute in 1974. It’s rather rare for such a program to be offered in an institution of higher learning and ours consists of a meticulously developed methodology.
Over the course of five years, students study staging productions and separate numbers in such classic and contemporary forms of entertainment as revue, cabaret, concerts, street performances, comedy shows, satire, farce, parody, singing, dancing (ranging from the Charleston to hip hop), tap dance, conferencier, stand-up, clownery, pantomime and transformation.
This may seem paradoxical, but the initial basis for highly theatrical forms in our school is the Stanislavsky system – the development of an actor’s living, natural way of feeling onstage.
This is then followed by the development of qualities necessary for stage numbers directly addressed to the audience.
During their training, students get an idea of the rules that form the basis of many kinds of performing arts, specializing in those genres that they feel the greatest affinity for (to be clear, there are over a hundred genres of variety theatre). Starting in their second year, students create numbers under the guidance of their master and instructors, which are then stringed together to make a show, as well as stand-alone productions. It is sometimes the case that, alongside their variety shows, students take part in dramatic productions, especially comedies, farces, vaudevilles, musicals or plays of an absurdist, futurist, or non-realistic bent. Future directors also undergo training as actors, participating in their classmates’ scenes and performing in productions at the Student Theatre – this is of conceptual importance, as directors should feel what their actors will feel in their productions in order to know how to give them precise and executable tasks.
Training is carried out from start to finish within a constant group of 12-15 students. The team of instructors includes those who teach Directing, Stage Speech, Stage Movement, individual and choral Singing, Dance and other professional disciplines. Students also receive a comprehensive education in the humanities, covering in detail such fields as Drama Theory, History of Russian and European Theatre, History of Russian and European Visual Art, History of Music, History of Russian and European Literature, History of Variety Theatre, Philosophy, Mythology, foreign languages and more.
Certain groups train under the auspices of specific theatres and concert halls in the city.
The instructors for this program have a great deal of practical experience in variety arts.