Book: Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique

Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique: A Practitioner’s Guide

Sinéad is the author of Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique: A Practitioner’s Guide, forthcoming, Bloomsbury Methuen, 2019.

Intended for actors, directors, teachers and researchers, this book offers a clear and thorough introduction to the renowned acting technique developed by Michael Chekhov. Providing a complete overview of the whole method, Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique includes illuminating explanations of his principles and a wide range of practical exercises that illustrate, step by step, how they can be applied to dramatic texts.

Part One provides an outline of Chekhov’s most basic principles, which help to prepare practitioners to become responsive and receptive, and to awaken their imagination. Part Two charts a journey through the foundational psychophysical exercises that can both orient an actor’s training routine and be applied directly to the development of a role. Part Three focuses on more specific and elaborate methods of scene work, characterisation and the art of transformation.

The book draws on the full range of Chekhov’s writing in English and French, unpublished material from the Dartington Hall archives, and interviews with actors who have worked with the technique, including Simon Callow and Joanna Merlin. It illustrates Chekhov’s approach by referring to Rushe’s own productions of Nikolai Gogol’s short story ‘Diary of a Madman’ and Shakespeare’s Othello, as well as characters and scenes in Sarah Kane’s Blasted and the contemporary American television series Breaking Bad. It will serve as a comprehensive and contemporary point of reference for those who are already trained in the method, as well as an initiation and toolkit for practitioners who are just beginning to discover it.