Michael Chekhov



Michael Chekhov (1891 – 1955) Michael Chekhov was a world-renowned early 20th century Russian actor, and a beloved nephew of the famous playwright Anton Chekhov. He was known for being a true chameleon actor, mesmerizing audiences by making consistently bold choices, and transforming into fully fleshed-out, astoundingly unique characters. Chekhov was openly praised by Konstantin Stanislavsky as his most brilliant student, and was highly respected by Group Theatre luminaries such as Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, Lee Strasberg, and Harold Clurman. He was the acting coach for many Hollywood stars of his day, and the technique he developed has been praised by Jack Nicholson, Anthony Hopkins, Johnny Depp, and Clint Eastwood, just to mention a few.

The Michael Chekhov Technique is psychophysical, imaginative, and highly creative technique. It develops not only the actor’s physical body, but also nurtures the actor’s psychological well-being, feeds the actor’s ability for inspiration, transformation and creativity, and is applicable to both film and stage work.

It is easy to see why Mr. Chekhov’s legacy keeps inspiring a whole new generation of actors, teachers and directors!

As actors and actresses, we must rejoice in the possession of our physical faculties. We must experience joy in the use of our hands, arms, body etc. Without this appreciation and realization of the body and its many possibilities, we cannot perform as artists
You should feel a flow of joy because you are alive. Your body will feel full of life. That is what you must give from the stage. Your life. No less. That is art: to give all you have. And what have you? Your life-nothing more. And to give life means to feel life throughout your whole being.
— Michael Chekhov



MICHA (Michael Chekhov Association) Resources

Books by Michael Chekhov:

  • To The Actor

  • Lessons for the Professional Actor

  • On The Technique of Acting

  • To the Director and Playwright

  • The Path of the Actor

Chekhov Studio International Resources


Other Reading for the Curious Actor

  • Sinéad Rushe - Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique

  • Lenard Petit - The Michael Chekhov Handbook

  • Mel Gordon - The Stanislavsky Technique: Russia

  • Andrei Malaev-Babel - The Vakhtangov Sourcebook

  • Andrei Malaev-Babel - Yevgeny Vakhtangov: A Critical Portrait

  • Jerzy Grotowski - Towards a poor Theatre

  • Jacques Lecoq - The Moving Body