Michael Chekhov’s five guiding principles and theatre practice today

The case of Tender Napalm by Philip Ridley

Authored by: Cynthia Ashperger

The Routledge Companion to Michael Chekhov

Print publication date:  May  2015
Online publication date:  May  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415710183
eBook ISBN: 9781315716398
Adobe ISBN: 9781317506867

10.4324/9781315716398.ch24

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Abstract

The many pieces of writing Michael Chekhov left behind him serve as a great guide to all who follow his technique today. Apart from his published books we are fortunate to have a recording of his lectures given to students of his technique in 1955 in New York City and published by Applause in 1992 under the title On the Theatre and the Art of Acting: The Six-Hour Master Class edited by Mala Powers. Hearing Chekhov’s technique transmitted in his own voice adds a dimension other than cognition to the teachings. It is the closest facsimile we have to hearing him speak today. Chekhov’s teaching voice is very tender and he is never rushed. He often intersperses more serious ideas with humor. The “how” of his teaching is congruent with the “what” of it. In this four-part recording Chekhov discusses the main ideas of his approach in a very simple and clear way. As always he displays his uncanny ability for categorization.

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