The Faculty of Theatre Studies has been in existence since 1939, and it was founded on the basis of a group dedicated to studying theatre scientifically that was formed in 1920, making it one of the first in the world.
This faculty combines educational tracks which in European institutions of higher learning are usually separate: a university-style academic investigation of theatre and the preparation of theatre critics to work in the press, as well as in dramaturgical positions in theatres. The concept behind such an education is that a reviewer of the daily theatrical process must be equipped with profound knowledge in the theory and history of theatre, whereas a researcher should be acquainted with the latest phenomena and current problems of contemporary theatre. In line with this concept, the program curriculum contains concurrent courses in the History of Russian and World Theatre, Literature, Music, Visual Art, Drama Theory and a seminar on analyzing productions and on theatre criticism. Each semester, each student writes two course papers: one in theatre history and the other in theatre criticism. The program also includes internships – in a theatre, in an archive or library and on the editorial staff of a media outlet. The final thesis paper consists of an independent investigation into an important phenomenon, process or problem in theatre, past or present.
Graduates receive a Bachelor’s degree.
Evgeniya Tropp, theatre critic, Dean of the Faculty of Theatre Studies:
When I was a student the Institute was named the Cherkasov Leningrad State Institute of Theatre, Music and Film. It then became the Theatre Arts Academy and now bears the name Russian State Institute of Performing Arts. Despite the changes of name, the essence remains the same – it’s a strange school, one in which late in the evening, sometimes past midnight, students have to be forced to go home! It’s only the students of theatre criticism (provided they’re not on the evening course) who are absent from the Institute at that time, as they’re at the theatre watching shows in order to write about them later.
Our theatre education is unique in that everyone studies in the same school: actors, directors, designers, producers, engineers and so on. The creative partnerships struck here on Mokhovaya often have a very long lifespan. And the critics, studying alongside theatre practitioners, learn to respect their work. We all grow from a single theatre root. In recent years the number of people applying to the Faculty of Theatre Studies has been growing, and that’s a source of joy: it means that the theatre art is on the rise and giving people food for thought!
Katerina Goldfarb, second-year student of the Faculty of Theatre Studies:
It’s possible that someone might get tired of hearing through the walls of a lecture hall during class the singing, reciting (of a single word!) in whispers or Bach’s Toccata and Fugue, but not students at RGISI. On the contrary, listening to lectures with that in the background creates the necessary atmosphere.