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Fay Simpson

Fay is a physical theatre director and movement teacher from New York City, she is the founder of the physical acting process called The Lucid Body. The purpose of her fellowship is to research the physical approach to voice production of the teachers, Valery Gandeleev and Yuri Vassiliev at the St. Petersburg State Theatre Arts Academy and at The Maly Drama Theatre.


 “As a movement teacher and director of devised theatre, I have had a life long passion for unlocking the key to training the integrated actor; body, mind and spirit. The Likhachev Fellowship was a wondrous gift in this pursuit, as I was given two weeks of coming to Russia for the first time to investigate the source of true physical acting based on the teachings of Stanislavski. I came specifically to study the vocal techniques of Yuri Vasiliev at the Theatre Academy, and Valery Galendeev at the Maly Theatre. Both men are leaders in their field of vocal training, and both men utilize the body in their training as much as a movement teacher in the States. It was thrilling. 

The Likhachev Foundation allowed me to move from one discovery to the next, introducing me to a Michael Chekhov specialist, taking me to the Theatre Museum to study Meyerhold, and allowing me access to productions at the Maly Theatre and at the Alexandrinski Theatre. It was such a pleasure to be hosted with such thoughtful care and preparation.

The best part of this delicious venture was the richness of the conversations with the other fellows on the trip. They were fascinating professionals from all over the world, and sharing our separate research discoveries was intellectually stimulating and joyous.

I am planning on finishing my fellowship by creating a multi-media performance piece centered around the teaching and personality of Yuri Vasiliev, which I hope to share with my Yale students, at my New York studio, in Berlin, Moscow and eventually back in St. Petersburg. I fell in love with St. Petersburg, and hope to make it a part of my life as a theatre professional. Thank you Likhachev for gifting me such new found information that will help develop my teaching and directing style hereafter”.