Michael Chekhov

As with everything on this webpage, this is an (over)simplified introduction to the ideas of experts in the field. Information here is annotated summary of information in the book To the Actor on the Technique of Acting by Michael Chekhov. Martino Publishing, 2014. And To the Actor … Revised and expanded by Simon Callow. Routledge 2002.

Michael Chekhov 1891 – 1955

  • Studerte med Stanislavsky
  • Fikk sammenbrudd etter å ha jobbet med Stanislavskis sitt tidlig teknikk om “emotional memory”
  • Etablerte en “imagination-based” system for skuespillere
  • Rollefigurens internt drivkraft er uttrykk gjennom en eksternt gest – gest fortrenges i selv forestilling men kroppen husker det (Se Jeff Corey)
  1. The Body and its Psychology are inseparable.
  2. Intangible means of Expression: Sometimes you cannot put into words what you must experience!
  3. The Higher Self and the Creative Spirit: Don’t over-analyse everything – connect our ideas to movement, generalities to the specific, your imagination to the performance!
  4. Awakening the Creative State. Use your energy!
  5. Artistic Freedom: Find the techniques that work for you!

Exercise 1 – Tempo Staccato/Lagato

Begin here with Stanislavsky’s idea of inner rhythm and outer tempo:


Exercise 2 – Expansion/Contraction

Exercise 3 – Psychological Gesture

Very similar (if not the same as) the work Jeff Corey did with using physical metaphors –

Exercise 4 – Atmosphere

These two versions of Romeo and Juliet have two very different atmospheres, or “stemninger”.

The character are living the same story – how does the atmosphere change your performance of the character?
Make decisions about your use of “sceniske virkemidler” to imagine two very different atmospheres for your scene and play the scene fully within each of them.