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Welcome to MICHA's 2015 Newsletter!
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Joanna Merlin, MICHA Summer 2015
Teacher Training Workshop 
January 3-7, 2016 in Miami, FL

Advanced Teacher Training Intensive 
May 19-22, 2016 in Hudson, NY
Summer Workshop & Festival 
June 22-July 1, 2016 in New London CT
Theater of the Future - Open Space 
July 2-3, 2016 in New London, CT

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the seventeenth year of MICHA!  We are still youthful and always adolescent, in the sense that we are seeking new ideas, and in a continual state of discovery, growth and transformation.

Michael Chekhov was seventeen when he began his studies at the Maly Theater in St. Petersburg, followed by a lifetime of search for ways to unlock the artistic soul of the actor.  In 1937, at the end of the term at Dartington, he said: “We are trying to develop a new type of actor with technique, who, when he appears onstage, his whole being will be in a state of radiating, of constantly fulfilling objectives, of being in continual contact, consistently radiating an atmosphere, burning with archetypes, moving easily, concentrated.  In my nature sits the whole method as power, and it will be constantly there.”

I want to thank David Jaffe, who will be hosting us for the third year on the beautiful campus of Connecticut College for the International Workshop and Festival and Theater of the Future weekend in the Arboretum. (Hopefully, this year it won’t rain!)


Thanks to Lesley-Ann Timlick and her colleagues at Florida International University for hosting our Teacher Training Workshop.

Some of the MICHA faculty will be teaching for the fourth year at California State University Summer Arts Conference, thanks to Hugh O’Gorman.

Fern Sloan and Ted Pugh are off to teach in Melbourne, Australia in February at the University of Victoria, thanks to Margot Louise Fenley who was at the MICHA International Workshop for the first time in 2015.

Also, congratulations to Ragnar Freidank, Fern Sloan and Ted Pugh for completing the first year of the Actors Ensemble’s Michael Chekhov School in Hudson, NY. A great success! 

And to all, have a healthy and productive New Year,

Joanna

You can renew your annual MICHA membership HERE, -
or become a new member of the Michael Chekhov Community!
Visit our new Video Streaming Platform and receive a 25% discount for watching MICHA's Masterclass Videos through January 2016, by entering the code: FRIENDS

MICHA - Summer 2015 at Connecticut College

A Character and Its Never-Ending Joyous Journey

by Peter Josephson
At the 2015 MICHA Workshop and Retreat I found the opportunity I’d been wanting for many years, to continue exploring a role even after the performances were over.  Our common text this year was Twelfth Night, or What You Will.   This was an entirely fitting choice.  Malvolio was an important role in Chekhov’s development as an artist and teacher.  It was the role that brought him back to acting following his nervous breakdown, and it was the first part he played after he began to teach from a studio in his home. Here is what I learned.
First, never put a great role to bed.  I closed a production of What You Will (or, Twelfth Night) on Saturday June 13th, playing Malvolio.  Malvolio is a character of polarities, and bottomless layers – a truly great role, and one I’ve wanted to play for a long time.  On Sunday I packed my bag and drove to MICHA's workshop at Connecticut College.  “Please,” I thought, “Don’t let anyone imagine that I know what I’m doing!” (Fortunately, no one did.)  In our very first class Monday morning Dawn Arnold had us begin simply by listening, out of which came beginning gestures.  The first note in my journal from that session goes like this: “Already the gesture work is deepening my experience of Malvolio,” and that was true throughout the week, through work on colors, centers, incorporation, and atmospheres.  Every actor with a great role should spend at least a week after a closing working further on the part, and may even choose to return to it again and again.  A great role is never "finished." 
Second, creative individuality is a real and truthful thing.  To my delight, there were half a dozen Malvoliae at the workshop, each with his own individual Malvolio-ness.  Cleiton Echeveste and I were in classes together all week.  His Malvolio had a beautiful pink center, quite different from mine and absolutely right and true for him.  From playing with Cleiton I learned that there is no “definitive” performance, and with that recognition comes great freedom and ease.  In our final session of the week with Joanna Merlin, Cleiton and I found ourselves lying on the floor, trading lines from the letter speech, speaking it together (“My Lady loves me”), sharing this moment of pure and splendid joy.  In my imagination, Olivia floated above us in a cloud.
Third, when we get our brains out of the way and really play, then the possibilities in a great role are endless.  In our Thursday morning session Craig Mathers asked us "to open" while speaking a line or two of text.  Now, as my text for the workshop I chose Malvolio's final speech (“Pray you peruse that letter”).  It was the moment in our production I was always least sure of.   My first reaction was, "Well whatever 'pray you peruse that letter’ is, it's not opening!" Perhaps, I thought, I should pick another text ("Daylight and champion discovers not more; this is open" would be an obvious choice).  But I decided instead to take the plunge, and to my surprise and joy I found that "opening" that last speech - a speech about damage and betrayal - worked.  It isn’t that I found out how-to-do-the-speech; it’s that I found out how open the play itself remains for continuing exploration.
At our first gathering on Sunday night Jessica Cerullo asked us “to live in the questions.”  That is a marvelous direction.  When we live in the questions our work and play are never done, we can leave behind the “definitive” for the immediately true and beautiful, and every possibility opens to us.

Peter Josephson, Ph.D. is an actor, active on stages across New Hampshire, and associate professor of politics at St. Anselm College. Besides playing great roles like Malvolio, he teaches courses in the Politics, Humanities and Philosophy departments. He is author of Great Art of Government: Locke's Use of Consent.
Certificate of Completion
This year Julie Douglas and Phil Winters were awarded
their 
certificate of completion by MICHA. Congratulations!


MICHA 2015 Summer Workshop

Participants: Erik Andrews, Patrick Bailey, Julia Beers, Scott Burrell, Megan Callahan, Danielle Carter, Kevin Costa, Kristi Dana, Matthew Davis, Cleiton Echeveste, Gretchen Egolf, Josephine Elwood, Margot Fenley, Paul Gabbard, Kara ("K.D.") Gonzalez, James Haffner, Christine Hamel (Woodberry), Suzie Hardgrave, Robert Homer-Drummond, Emily Huntingford, Rebecca Joy, Peter Josephson, Joel King, Valerie Lecomte, Marya Lowry, Gillian MacKay, Nick Mangano, Jennifer Mizenko, Rena Polley, Jay Putnam, Mara Radulovic, Maria Ricossa, Deborah Robertson Middleton, Natalie Robichaux, Gabriel Rodriguez, Connie Rotunda, Megan Schy Gleeson, Liz Shipman, Kathryn Tabone, Peter Tedeschi, Leila Teitelman, Jeffrey Thomakos, Anne Towns, Yvette Hsin-Yen Tseng, Renee van Nifterik, Serena Venditto, Nancy Vitulli, Lionel Walsh, Philip Winters
Faculty: Joanna Merlin, Jessica Cerullo, Dawn Arnold, Suzana Nikolic, Fern Sloan, Craig Mathers, John McManus, Scott Fielding, Ted Pugh
Open Space & "The Pause" facilitated by Ragnar Freidank, Jessica Cerullo

Open Space

MICHA's 2015 Open Space: Theater of the Future

Since 2011 MICHA has been inviting everyone who loves the theater and cares for its future to join us for our Theater of the Future, Open Space event. Over 2 days sessions are called, performances given, classes taught, workshops planned, websites developed, Russian translated, songs sung and the structure of University syllabi as well as MICHA’s workshops and events developed and changed. Theater of the Future is the Open Space, held by MICHA to explore what will happen when we give some time and space to our thoughts, talents and initiatives.
Below is a summary of all the sessions called during the 2015 Open space. you can read the full reports on the d&d website, hosted by MICHA teacher & board member Phelim McDermott and our friends from Improbable Theatre, UK.
 
1. Tools Of Arts Administration For Future Theatre – Paul Gabbard
2. Event Report – MICHA’s 2015 Open Space – Ragnar Freidank
3. When Are Teachers Ready? – Travis Clark Morris
4. Taking Chekhov Overseas: Expanding/Starting The Work – Kathryn Tabone
5. Making Theater Out Of Trauma – Patrick Bailey
6. Finding Themes For Devised Theater – Fern Sloan
7. Personal Physical Theater/Performance – Jennifer Mizento
8. How Can We Work As A Director Less Ensemble Within A Democratic Process? – Danielle Carter
9. How To Support Women In Theatre (And How To Support “The Other”) – Josephine Elwood
10. Using The Open Space In The Final Year Of Actor Training To Empower The Emerging Artist – Danielle Carter
11. Hats? How Many Is Too Many? – Rachel Caccese
12. Alone In The Studio And The Floor Is COLD – Erik Andrews
13. Jessica’s Sabbatical Song & Erik’s Go-Pro: Sounds Of Lament Find An Outlet – Jessica Cerullo
14. Training Directors In The Michael Chekhov Techniques – Margot Fenley
15. Teaching In Difficult Circumstances – Kathryn Tabone
16. What If PLAY Trumped Plays On College Campus? – Jessica Cerullo
17. Reading The T Williams One-Act Play In The Bar Of A Tokyo Hotel – Patrick Bailey
18.  Fear Bump – Valorie Kissel
19. Story Storytelling – John McManus
20. Tossing Balls – Exchanging Ideas And Creating New Uses For The Balls In The Chekhov Work – Craig Mathers
21. Imagining Michael Chekhov’s Journey From Outer And Inner Aspects – Scott Fielding
22. MICHA In Australia – Margot Fenley
23. Getting To Hartford Airport On Sunday June 21st From Connecticut College– Mara Radulovic
24. Collaborating With The Earth – An Experiment In Elemental Theatre – Gabriel Rodriguez
25. Being A Woman In Her 40s(+) And Finding Ways to BE Onstage – Valerie Lecomte
26. Open Project – Mara Radulovic
CLICK TO PLAY VIDEO
MICHA's 2015 Theater of the Future, filmed by Ragnar. You are invited to join for our 2016 Open Space "Theater of the Future". Read your invitation HERE.

Honoring Ted Pugh and Fern Sloan
During the 2015 Summer Workshop, MICHA honored Fern Sloan and Ted Pugh for their life-long dedication to Michael Chekhov's legacy and their contribution towards preserving and developing this work, through their leadership in The Actors' Ensemble and  the Michael Chekhov Association.
Picture above: Scott Fielding, Joanna Merlin and Jessica Cerullo award Ted & Fern with a certificate of appreciation and a set of handmade juggling balls, inscribed with the words "ease, form and beauty".
Picture below: Megan Callahan performs a song in honor of Ted and Fern.
CLICK TO PLAY VIDEO
Megan Callahan at MICHA. Camera: K.D. Gonz, Sound & Edit: Ragnar


Everyone has Two Hearts

In the following talk, honoring Ted and Fern, MICHA Managing Director, Jessica Cerullo delivered excerpts from Chekhov’s lecture detailing Rudolf Steiner’s descriptions of the physical and the "etheric" heart:
CLICK TO PLAY VIDEO
"The Etheric Heart" with Jessica Cerullo, filmed by Ragnar

MICHA Teacher Training 2015
California State University, Long Beach
Participants: Ashley Elizabeth Allen, Vicky Araico Casas, Jeremiah Black, Carlos Alexis Cruz, Ashley DeMoville, Julie Douglas, Christine Hamel (Woodberry), Billicia Charnelle Hines, Rebecca Joy, Dale March, Ruth Markind, Matthew Miller, Daniel Millhouse, Juan Parada, Richard Park, Drew Richardson, Michele Shay, Yan Tkach, David Weber
Faculty: Joanna Merlin, Dawn Arnold, Marjo Riika-Makela, Nick Gabriel

From the MICHA Community
 

China Calling

by Lenard Petit
In October 2015, the Michael Chekhov Acting Studio in New York City returned from China. It was a fulfilling trip, a bridge making experience between culture and art.
In 2013 a representative of the Shanghai Theater Academy appeared at the door of the Studio, she was interested in the Chekhov Technique and explained that she had been sent to find me by the head of acting at the Shanghai Theater Academy. The next year, the head of acting, Professor He Yan, contacted me. We agreed that the Studio would bring a production that demonstrated actors utilizing Chekhov’s technique and would also offer a series of classes in the Summer Institute.
For the Summer Institute I looked far and wide to assemble a team of teachers. For the production, however, I considered the words of Mr. Chekhov, “The actor is the theater,” and turned my gaze much closer and saw that the Chekhov Studio possessed the resources to accomplish the Theater Festival in a comprehensive and satisfying way. The people I needed were all around me, so I invited my family and friends, Christopher Petit, Bethany Caputo, Sal Cacciato, Clark Gookin, and Meg Pantera to join me. Together we created a curriculum, and rehearsed a play. The idea was to rehearse consciously using the technique, freely discussing the technique, and justifying every element of the performance through the technique. We knew we were going to Shanghai to share, demonstrate, and defend our technique.  
The rehearsal process fulfilled a promise that Michael Chekhov made to actors while he was teaching in NYC, (read Lessons for the Professional Actor). If we learn the technique and use it in rehearsal then we will be able to rehearse and be prepared for the performance in a very short time.
And so it was. Through playing in the technique we prepared our play, Cyrano, by Jo Roets, an adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s play Cyrano de Bergerac. We rehearsed in Lotus Bay, New York at what we call our retreat house on the shore of Lake Erie. After one week of rehearsal we performed the show on the stage in the backyard of the house and arranged a performance/potluck dinner for the local community.  There was such a pleasant upward moving atmosphere for the whole evening.  The show was surprisingly comfortable for such a short rehearsal.
Then, we let everything go for a month and our next rehearsal was done as a purely imaginative exercise in which we vividly described the performance only in the language of the technique. Every moment of the play was present in the discussion, and all four brothers, too.
When Chris and I arrived, Professor He was excited. He talked about the state of acting in China and how important and necessary it was that we had come to introduce Michael Chekhov’s ideas. He said that they are stuck in the 1950s and very few new influences in acting are available for them to study.
We responded in an expansive gesture. The students were quite thoughtful as we began, and often asked questions revolving around “why?” I asked them to stop that question and try to manage without it. I asked them to accept the images and the impulses and allow a sense of play to envelop them.
A good sense of discipline emerged and the questions went away. The students were taken up by their imaginations now, which they had freed from the intellect. The week ended and the group was still in an expansive gesture.
Meg, Bethany, and Sal arrived to begin the next week of teaching, which would culminate in the performance. Sal and Bethany taught every day, and Meg, our director, made friends with the staff at the theater and arranged the set, which had to be assembled from what was there. We rehearsed for two evenings and had tech rehearsal the entire day of the first performance.
In the talkback after the performance a young actress raised her hand. She said for two weeks Lenard has asked us to imagine that acting can be poetry and we can become poets. Holding up a tissue she said, “I have written a poem during this performance with my tears”. 

 
Chekhov Squared - creating The Anton Chekhov Book Club
by Dawn Arnold and the Michael Chekhov Studio Chicago
"Let us imagine that a group of actors has become interested in the practical elaboration of the method we have suggested, and that they begin working on a play.” This was the impulse that moved me to begin a project this year that became The Anton Chekhov Book Club. My yearning to create a new theatre piece adapting short stories by Anton Chekhov with Michael Chekhov’s approach and with colleagues from our MICHA community finally took shape last spring. The project, which had been percolating for some while, was launched by a cooperative grant, the Box Partnership at Stage 773 in Chicago, and premiered in August 2015.
The Anton Chekhov Book Club, like many of the shows I’ve directed with The Moving Dock Theatre Company, continued a tradition of bringing exceptional literature to the stage. I yearned to work on Anton Chekhov with Michael Chekhov. There is a simpatico relationship between the two Chekhovs that makes the writings of Anton Chekhov vibrantly accessible to the actor and director working with Michael Chekhov’s ideas.
A few years ago I discovered the vast source of material the English speaking world has of Anton Chekhov’s oeuvre -- over 200 short stories. What a treasure! In his vivid stories we find alI that is wonderful about his plays - the rich characterization, the depth of soul-searching, the keen observation of life, the description of the world he knew - all there in abundance. Each story is a little universe with it’s own atmosphere, cast of characters, and situation. I started to teach with these in a few workshops and found yet another boon - the narration in each story enables the actor to understand the inner workings of the character’s being. The actor learns about the complexities of inner life from a master storyteller.
The ensemble for this project included company members who have been together for many years and have been studying with MICHA - Alicia Hall, and Christa Macbeth - as well as those who have joined us by way of our studio - Audra Yokley and Chrissy Calkins Steele. In our process, we did not start by adapting the story to make it a play. Rather, we explored how actors would bring the story to the stage. There have been stage and film adaptations of Chekhov stories that rewrite Chekhov quite a bit. We pruned a bit of text where action did not need to be repeated or where the narration was good for a story but too long for the stage. We rewrote no text in our process as we delved into Chekhov’s words. We discovered on our feet, in our bodies, not only how to bring the world of the story alive through our imaginations and how to embody the characters, but how to handle the narrative voice, how to change from one character to another, how to create for the audience the world of the tale. The ‘container’ for the Chekhov stories, the Anton Chekhov Book Club, was a device to liberate us creatively to take on the stories, allowing also for non-realistic casting. Our ensemble of women played male and female, young and old, irrespective of our types and genders. We enjoyed the freedom this gave us, allowing our imaginations to take on the characters. We all had an opportunity to take on a narrative voice, each having a chance to ‘play’ Anton Chekhov. We began our work by creating the characters of the book club, rooting them in what they loved about aspects of Anton Chekhov. One character loved the fighter for social justice, another liked his humor, another his hope and encouragement for a better human experience, another his romantic side. Then we asked these characters, women obsessed with Anton Chekhov, to choose the stories they wanted to tell. Once we entered the stories, our creative process took off in explorations of uncharted terrain. As we progressed, the stories and characters taught us our show and reflected back onto the book club women. By the time we had finished all the stories, we had a much deeper sense of these women and their need to meet to share their love of Anton Chekhov.
As we concluded our run we could spy-back and see what were the strengths of our project and what we would have wished to do differently with more of the tools from the technique. This is another wonderful gift from Michael Chekhov - we can perceive unexplored possibilities and how to develop further. We will have the opportunity to improve on our first effort. Stage 773 has asked us back for another production of The Anton Chekhov Book Club next summer. Having done only four of the over 200 stories, we are thinking our little book club will have much room to grow.
My Auditioning Book in Spanish - and A Podcast
by Joanna Merlin

My book, Auditioning: An Actor-Friendly Guide, published in 2001, and still in print, has been translated into Spanish in Madrid, thanks to the efforts of two practitioners of the Michael Chekhov technique, Jorge Quesada and Soledad Garre.   
The book will include an introduction by Soledad who teaches at La Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramatico in Madrid. The prologue to the Spanish addenda has been written by Assumpta Serna, a well known Spanish actress and teacher who is very concerned with the ethics in our profession, followed by a chapter of auditioning advice from Spanish actors, directors, casting directors and teachers.
The book launch will be in April and we will do a press conference on Skype. The book will be distributed to Spanish speaking countries.
Also, I have been invited to record a podcast hosted by two professors of musical theater history who teach at Penn State University entitled “Behind the Curtain: Broadway’s Living Legends”. The podcast was created to serve as an oral history of the American musical theater. As many of you know, I worked as a casting director for 25 years as well as an actress and teacher. I began my casting career with Harold Prince and cast many original productions of shows written by Stephen Sondheim that Hal directed. Also, I played Tzeitel, Tevye’s oldest daughter in the original production of “Fiddler on the Roof” 51 years ago, directed by Jerome Robbins. So I guess that qualifies me in some way since I’m happily still alive and can tell a few stories.


Saying goodbye to Marina Ivanova
This year we said goodbye to Marina Ivanova, a Chekhov scholar and dear member of the international Michael Chekhov community. Many MICHA faculty first met Marina in 1994 at the Michael Chekhov Conference in Emmerson, UK. Marina died in Moscow on January 28, 2015. She taught for many years at the Schukin School and introduced numerous artists to the work of Michael Chekhov. A stone for was established in her memory and placed in Saint Petersburg at the Smolenskoe Cemetary in June of 2015.

Obituary

Excerpts from Marina Ivanova’s obituary translated by Peter Tedeschi

Marina Ivanova was a student of Pavel Markov, a legendary dramaturge and critic of the Moscow Art Theatre. As a researcher and scholar of Michael Chekhov’s life and art and one of the collectors of Michael Chekhov’s Literary Heritage, she never limited her work to one area. She was interested in Russian theatre as a whole, in all its aspects. She knew it inside out, and yet she did not consider her knowledge in anyway complete, and her opinion in anyway the only right one. She was a person of integrity, always honest in her relationships with colleagues and students, in big and small matters.
Dignity was her credo both when defending her thesis about the second Moscow Art Theatre and when she left Moscow’s Theater Museum, the Bakhrushin, after organizing the first exhibition dedicated to Meyerhold, because she did not wish to become a member of the communist party, a requirement if she were to continue working at the museum. She always had that dignity and others saw it when students were swarming around her on the steps of the Schukin School. She had that perfect posture.
She fully and completely shared Vakhtangov’s idea that students should be nurtured and not trained. Over thirty years of delivering lectures on the History of Russian Theatre she had been nurturing a new generation of “Schukinians”. She did it without pressuring, never moralizing and blending uncompromising principles with unique kindness, self-sacrifice and responsiveness. She loved her students and her students loved her. For many of them meeting and talking with Marina Sergeyevna was an essential need even many years after their graduation.
She compiled Chronicles of the Schukin School, a two-volume opus that describes the life and art of the Vakhtangov School.
Until the very last moment she remained working. She set exams of the fall semester, and managed to finish a book on Michael Chekhov. The emptiness that came after her passing away is immeasurable and can’t be filled. For the theatre and the Schukin School it is a big loss that is felt by all her students with whom she so generously shared her wisdom, dignity and love.


Announcements
 
MICHA's Advanced Teacher Training Workshop
for teachers who have been integrating the Chekhov technique into their classrooms and who seek feedback. Application Deadline January 15, 2016

Michael Chekhov and the Voice

In 2015 MICHA continued our efforts to support study of the Chekhov technique in concert with the voice. Our 2015 International Workshop welcomed 3 voice teachers; John McManusCraig Mathers and Susana Nikolic to the faculty. Additionally, for the second year in a row, we invited Marya Lowry to offer an evening workshop exploring the 'extended voice'. Plans for our 2016 Teacher's Workshop include an investigation into choral odes from Sophocles' Antigone and the Pause in 2016 will include explorations and shared performances that take the voice as a point of departure.
 

Lessons for Teachers

MICHA is happy to announce plans to publish the currently out-of-print Michael Chekhov's Lessons for Teachers originally edited by Deirdre Hurst du PreyJessica Cerullo will edit the new edition which will include an introduction, additional lectures, and translations into Russian and German.
 

Addition to MICHA's Advisory Board

MICHA is pleased to welcome Pierre du Prey to our Advisory Board. Pierre du Prey FRSC, FSA, RAAR, is a historian of the classical tradition in architecture. His publications reveal interests that range from antiquity to posterity and his areas of specialization include the education of architects, the cataloging of their drawings, and the way their works reflect their biographies. He has written and lectured frequently on John Soane and Nicholas Hawksmoor,and has also worked on Italian, German, and French material. A Professor and Queen's Research Chair Emeritus in the Department of Art at Queen's University at Kingston, Ontario, Canada, he is the son of Deirdre Hurst du Prey, and the executor of her estate.
 

Welcoming Dale March

We wish to welcome Dale March to the faculty of the Michael Chekhov Association. Dale is a long time friend and colleague of many in the MICHA family. He has worked extensively with The Actors' Ensemble since he was 19 years old, on both stage and in film (many know him from "Eugene's Ghosts").
He is a graduate of the Actor's Center Australia in Sydney - has appeared in Cate Blanchett's Sydney Theatre Company, toured with the company of "War Horse" throughout Australia and has appeared in television and film in his native Australia. He has also taught the Michael Chekhov work at the Actor's Center. We feel very fortunate to have him with us at our 2016 conference this summer.
Faculty News
Jessica Cerullo is collaborating with Sojourn Theater and the Center for Performance and Civic Practice to direct How To End Poverty in 90 Minutes (with 99 people you may or may not know). The production, described as a "container for dialogue",  will open in April of 2016 at Whitman College's Harper Joy Theatre, and seeks to explore how we make decisions around wealth and poverty as individuals and a community. 
Ted Pugh, Fern Sloan and Ragnar Freidank have founded the Michael Chekhov School in Hudson, NY, to offer an immersive training in the Michael Chekhov Technique.  In their first inaugural year the school was supported by MICHA faculty members Jessica Cerullo and Joanna Merlin; in 2015 the school met for a total of 9 weeks of intensive work in the technique.
Below are four short videos from the school's first year, featuring a talk with Tony award winning actor Dick Latessa, a talk by Ted Pugh, reflections by the actors on the summer session and some observations by Bernadette Wintsch-Heinen from Zürich, who visited the school in the fall of 2015:
CLICK TO PLAY VIDEO                                             CLICK TO PLAY VIDEO
CLICK TO PLAY VIDEO                                             CLICK TO PLAY VIDEO
In the coming year the Michael Chekhov School is offering programs in the spring and the fall. Applications are currently accepted.
* In the spring the school is inviting interested actors to three 

workshop-weekendswhich include accommodation in Hudson, NY.
* In the fall 2016 the school is starting their next  
one-year-intensive program.
* In addition, for the summer of 2016 a small group of actors with the Michael Chekhov School will be in residency at MICHA's Workshop, New London, CT.


The New Helsinki West Theater Ensemble
This year advanced students of the Chekhov Studio International and Artistic Director, Marjo-Riikka Makela, started a theater company named Helsinki West Theatre Ensemble. 22 actors, of various nationalities from around the world, trained under Marjo-Riikka's instruction for 3 months focusing on foundational Michael Chekhov work, ensemble trust exercises, and character explorations. After the initial training period, rehearsals began on the inaugural play I Gelosi, a story about a real life theatre company being born in 16th century Italy. The company was one of the first to put women on stage. The play premiered in a large warehouse in L.A CA and like the real life traveling theatre troupe, built a large tent set design every Saturday morning, then played 4 shows, and took the tent down on Sunday evenings.

Marjo-Riikka Makela, continues to work with the actors at the National Theatre of Finland. Last year she worked to prepare students for their main stage production of Anton Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. Also, one of the most exciting things in a larger picture of actor training in Europe, is that the National Theatre Academy, has decided that it's new acting, directing and writing students will all learn the Michael Chekhov technique as the foundation for their work together.

David Zinder writes:
* Feb 21st - March 1st I will be giving a six-day workshop at the National School of Drama (NSD) in New Delhi, India. This will be my third year of teaching the third - and final - year there.
* March 19 - 22 - Ulrich Meyer-Horsch and I will be giving a workshop in Hamburg with Olivia Ruedinger, at the Schule fur Schauspiel, Hamburg under the auspices of MCE. Olivia is the founder and head of the school, and this will be the second time we three are team-teaching at her school. 
* I am working on a Chekhov Technique workshop that will take place - if all goes well - in Tel Aviv in June 2016. This will be the first time a Chekhov workshop will be given in Israel, and I am hoping that Ulrich Meyer-Horsch  and Suzana Nikolic will be able to join me. It's still in the planning stage, but there is a good chance that it will happen. It will be advertised as an international workshop so hopefully we will have participants from many countries outside Israel.
News from Berlin and Dublin
Joerg Andrees writes: The second group of the Michael Chekhov Advanced Training Program -lead by Joerg Andrees in Dublin- awarded  certificates of attendance to a group of new Michael Chekhov Teachers. Guest tutors for the group were in the past: Fern Sloan, Ted Pugh, Sarah Kane, Lenard Petit, Jobst Langhans. A new group will begin in November 2016 in Berlin.
In Berlin, Germany, the Berufsbegleitende Schauspielseminar successfully completed its 22nd year of the Chekhov Technique Part Time Training Program.
The 6th Workshop of the annual “Chekhov Theatre Therapy Meetings” was held in Berlin.
The Alfred Schnittke Akademie International, Hamburg awarded 4 diplomas to Singers. Their course of study included the Chekhov Technique developed for singers and musicians, taught by Joerg Andrees, who also directed the five Diploma Shows and the Portfolio Presentation.
News from the Chekhov Studio Hamburg, Germany
Ulrich Meyer-Horsch has opened an International Chekhov Training at 'Schule für Schauspiel Hamburg'. The part-time program covers the whole technique and is taught in collaboration with Michael Chekhov Europe Training. International faculty comes from the US, Russia, Israel, Germany and Europe.
News from Sarah Kane and Perform International
Sarah Kane
writes: PerformInternational is a small, independent, not-for-profit organization based in the UK offering part-time, full-time and Studio training  opportunities as well as short courses, masterclasses and individual tuition in the Archetype Technique, the integration of the Michael Chekhov acting technique with Rudolf Steiner's approach to artistic speech. Set up in 2013 by Sarah Kane, Geoff Norris and Gregers Brinch, in the course of 2015 it has gradually begun to find its way into the UK world of theatre and the arts, and been running short courses in Sussex and Gloucestershire, and Studio training and rehearsals in London. 
Early in 2015 we were offered the amazing opportunity to bring new life to a medium-sized theatre in central London, partly in preparation for 2016,  the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death. Our two Shakespeare productions, The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet will be an integral part of what is to be a major celebration of Shakespeare all over the city. We started the practical work in the summer of 2015 and it is proving enormously rewarding to be bringing Chekhov's approach to theatre and acting to young actors who have never met it before! Their level of confidence in their own work is changing rapidly and new talents have quickly begun to emerge, and these same young actors are now too enthusiastically engaging to help PerformInternational to continue to grow. 
We are looking forward to a very busy 2016, with two Studio productions, a host of short courses around the UK that we have been invited to run, and the start of a part-time training in London in August. Our website is currently under reconstruction, but please check it out soon for  more details of our activities: who knows, you may be tempted to join us for the one or other event! And if any of our non-British Chekhov colleagues are visiting the UK and London, please get in touch: it would be wonderful to meet, either again, or for the first time!  
News from the Michael Chekhov Actors Studio Boston
Scott Fielding writes: At Michael Chekhov Actors Studio Boston the 5th season of our Chekhov Training Program is well-underway. Continuing a trend of consistent growth, we have 23 actors enrolled this season; almost a-third of those completed the nine-month, twice-weekly training in an earlier season, and have returned again this year to further their inner development and mastery of the Work. Later in the season, the Studio is collaborating with Concord Academy Visual Arts Department on a short film intended for US and international festival circuits. And there’s a certain buzz about our entry into the local theatre scene, as well, in the near future. — Regarding my work in Europe this year, I collaborated with Serbian filmmaker Luka Popadic to inaugurate a 6-day Film Acting Workshop that attracted two dozen Balkan actors and filmmakers to Belgrade for sessions in on-camera acting technique and lectures by prominent Serbian film industry pros including Academy Award-winning director, Stefan Arsenijevic. The Workshop culminated in a 24-hour project that produced six short films and an overwhelming call to make the Workshop an annual event. — Last summer also saw the long-coming inauguration of a Chekhov-based master acting program in Croatia. 17 actors are enrolled. We will work together for 5 periods over the course of 2 years, and between sessions the group will meet independently of me to develop their work. — In September I directed the multi-media musical performance, “Kaleidoscope,” in collaboration with pianist Nada Kolundzija for the opening of the International Tribina Composers Festival at the Serbian National Theatre in Belgrade. — One last mention I wouldn’t like to leave out: at Micha’s Summer Workshop and Festival, I had a wonderful time teaching the Rehearsal Track and working in-depth on Twelfth Night with Phil Winters, Julia Beers, Rena Polley, Connie Rotunda, Jeff Thomas, Rebecca Rich, Scott Burrell and Christine Hamel. — Greetings, and a wonderful creative year ahead to All!
Special Thanks to SCOTT BURRELL for documenting MICHA's workshops
with the camera and for the use of his photographs in this newsletter!
Newsletter by Ragnar Freidank
Edited by Jessica Cerullo


Copyright © 2016 MICHA, All rights reserved.