Let’s start at the very beginning…

Those are the lyrics from the very first musical staged in MESS theatre. Starting at the very beginning, taking on any task as professionals, going all the way (specifically all the way to the opening night) - those are our principles.

MESS is the only theatre company in Moscow that stages professional musicals in English. We take it seriously and we do it well.

The name of our theatre means that we’re in a constant creative search, always experimenting and discovering new things. So let’s start at the very beginning.

Art Babayants (aka Adam Black)

Founder, the idea initiator and the first artistic director of MESS theater studio

Art is an actor, a director, a teacher, a scholar and an artistic director of Toronto Laboratory Theatre.

Since 1997 Art created theatre projects that combined teaching acting skills with studying English. In 2004 he was awarded the “Moscow Teacher of the Year” title for his work.

Back in 2004 Art along with Christopher Batty - his colleague from Australia - has gathered the first members of the MESS theatre cast and developed a unique curriculum for the theater. Together they were teaching acting during the first year of the theater’s existence.

As a director of MESS theater Art has put together the Broadway Babies musical review (2005), Share and Share Alike musical comedy (2007), Seussical: The Musical (2009, director - Pavel Filippenko), Gypsy (2012), Godspell (2014),  Seussical: The Musical (2018), and many more concert numbers for MESS theatre.

Since 2007 Art’s been living in Canada and working there as an artistic director of Toronto Laboratory Theatre. He is also a co-editor of the editorial series  “Theatre and Learning” (Cambridge Scholars, 2015) and a bilingual issue of Theatre Research in Canada/Les Recherches Théâtrales au Canada (autumn 2017). Also, he proceeds to actively perform on stage, taking part in Toronto theatre festivals such as Toronto Fringe (2017), Toronto Summerworks (2016), and Toronto Nuit Blanche (2015).

Art conducts different kinds of research in the field of theatre pedagogics. He got a Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance at Toronto University. His current studies and practices are dealing with multilingual theatre art from the point of view of an actor and a spectator.

Art still works with MESS theatre as a guest director and consulting supervisor.