FAQ


AUDITIONS

1. What are the auditions for?
First of all, to get to know you, and so you could familiarise yourself with us as well. What if we are a bad match? For example, what if you absolutely can’t stand Hamilton? (just kidding, not every MESSer likes this musical) It’s neither an exam nor an execution. Consider it your first rehearsal!

2. Почему надо заранее записываться на прослушивание?
The answer is very simple - sometimes over 20 people audition in one day. We prefer to assign a time slot for each candidate so that no one has to wait for their turn. This is exactly why it’s necessary to apply in advance. You can do this by filling in the form on the website.

3. How should I prepare for the audition?
You have to prepare a poem, a fable or a prose fragment in English. It is better to choose a small episode (approx. 1 minute, not longer), which you understand and feel most drawn to. Just in case: you have to know the text by heart. Our advice is to choose something modern - we absolutely adore Shakespeare or, say, Chaucer, but we do stage modern musicals. You also need to prepare a part of a song (verse + chorus) in the language of your choice. You absolutely don’t have to pick a difficult one, the main requirement is that it is comfortable for you to sing. It should be performed a cappella, so no worries about any backing tracks or sheet music.

4. How long does the audition take?
Usually, no more than 10 minutes. However, we’d rather you come early so you could rehearse your text and take your time to relax and calm down. We always tell people that there is nothing to be nervous about, but for some reason they still are…

5. How and when do I get the results of the audition?
The majority gets their results from us via phone calls or emails in 2-3 days. In exceptional cases, however, you might get it right away. Either way, the final decision on admission to MESS is made by our theatre teachers.

6. Do I need a certain level of singing and dancing abilities?
No. You will be asked to sing, of course, but only for us to listen to the specifics of your voice. No vocal or musical education required. Nevertheless, having such skills would greatly simplify the learning process for you.

7. What language should I speak at the audition?
English, of course. We will also give you a small questionnaire to fill out before we start, which is also going to be in English.

8. May I bring my backing tracks for my audition?
No, we will ask you to perform without any accompaniment.

9. What are the selection criteria?
We have two main ones:

  • a desire to learn, work on stage and study drama
  • sufficient knowledge of English (we mean your ability to communicate)

The rest is a secret! But, once again, we don’t expect you to astound us with your vocal or acting skills right away. If you can act, sing and/or dance, it’ll be easier for you during your further education. Still, a total lack of skill will not be an obstacle for you to pass the audition.

10. May my parents and/or friends attend my audition?
No. You are auditioned individually in the presence of 2-3 MESS staff. No one else is allowed in the room. Your parents and friends may wait for you outside.

STUDY PROCESS

1. How many lessons and rehearsals per week does each group have?
Each group attends classes 2-3 times a week. The total number of academic hours (45 minutes each) per week is usually no more than 8-9. However, be ready for the workload to go up quite a bit when preparing for the performances.

2. Can I choose the subjects?
Yes and no. The main subjects (drama lessons in English, rehearsals, ensemble singing and choreography) are mandatory. As for the additional subjects - students can choose them at the beginning of the year.

3. What would those subjects be?
For example, solfeggio, individual vocals or English classes.

4. In what language are classes and rehearsals are held?
Acting lessons and rehearsals are exclusively in English. Club meetings, events, concerts and performances are also in English. Dancing and vocal lessons are in Russian with the use of English terminology.

5. Can I take individual classes?
Yes, you can. On vocals, dancing, acting and pronunciation. However, it is necessary to agree with the teacher in advance so you both reserve a time slot, otherwise, it will be taken by another student.

6. Do I need any special clothes or shoes for the lessons? Where can I get them?
For acting and dancing lessons you will need some comfortable dance-wear, preferably in dark colours, as well as soft-soled shoes: ballet/jazz shoes or dance sneakers. You can buy them either in specialized shops (for example, “Grishko”, “Sansha” and “Esta”) or in some sports stores.

7. Сколько стоят занятия?
Disregarding individual lessons or any additional courses, the monthly fee is 10,000 rubles. Detailed information on payments and fees can be found in the dedicated section on our website.

8. Is it possible to only attend the rehearsals?
Actors who have completed a full course at MESS (4 years) can stay at the theater as freelance actors and work exclusively on the current productions and performances.

PERFORMANCE

1. How often does the theater perform?
Our main production is shown in autumn and spring: the musicals are performed twice a day (in the afternoon and in the evening). Traditionally, we have a fun pre-holiday Christmas Party (usually, a private one), and at the end of each academic year we stage a “Little Broadway Show”, where students can demonstrate the results of their work on vocals, choreography and acting skills to the larger audience.

2. Is it true that MESS actors perform every song live?
Absolutely true. All the songs are performed live. The actors use individual radio microphones.

3. How well do I need to know English in order to understand MESS theatre performances?
Our performances are attended by quite a diverse audience: there are foreigners, for whom English is the native language, and Russians who don’t speak English at all. However, the main contingent of our spectators is schoolchildren and students who are learning the language. All in all, everyone finds something interesting and useful for themselves.