Michael Chekhov

Michael Chekhov

Michael Chekhov

Michael Chekhov

Synopsis

All books in the Routledge Performance Practitioners series are carefully designed to enable the reader to understand the work of a key practitioner. They provide the first step towards critical understanding and a springboard for further study for students on twentieth century, contemporary theatre and theatre history courses. Michael Chekhov's unique approach to and lasting impact on actor training is only now beginning to be fully appreciated. This volume provides, for the first time, a fully comprehensive introduction to his life and times, his most notable productions, his classic writings and his practical exercises.Franc Chamberlain unravels Chekhov's contributions to modern theatre through:*personal biography*explanation of key writings*description if significant productions*reproduction of practical exercises.

Excerpt

Michael Chekhov, regarded as a phenomenal actor by many who saw him, is one of the key figures in twentieth-century theatre. His ability to transform himself onstage was celebrated by some of the major directors of the century: Stanislavsky, Vakhtangov, Reinhardt and Meyerhold, and his practical advice continues to inspire actors through his writings and through schools devoted to his work in Russia, Lithuania, Holland, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain and the US. His book, To the Actor, is considered one of the best actor-training manuals ever published in the European tradition. Yet in spite of this there have been very few studies of his work published in any language.

CHILDHOOD

Mikhail (Michael) Aleksandrovich Chekhov was born in St Petersburg, Russia, on 16 August 1891. His father Aleksandr, the brother of the great playwright, Anton Chekhov, was an eccentric and an inventor. Aleksandr Chekhov was always dreaming up some scheme or experiment, often in order to save money, and involving young Michael in much of the labour. Chekhov respected and admired his father for his intelligence and his creativity, but lamented the time spent helping with his father's experiments when he felt that he should have been playing.

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