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Chekhov Theatre School in Melikhovo Chekhov Theatre School in Melikhovo

Your discoveries toward The Theatre of The Future

THE THEATRE OF ANTON CHEKHOV

WELCOME
welcome

WELCOME

Anton Chekhov is one of the most rare, profoundly subversive, writers who made an equally brilliant contribution to the theatre.

 

 

 

 

The valuation of Chekhov the playwright is that he creates the atmosphere that reflects the needs of his time, moving away from the principles of classical drama, and reveals the psychological experiences of the characters on the theatre stage. Anton Chekhov’s most outstanding wisdom lay in his humility, tolerance, and compassion: absolute condemnation of no one, forgiveness for all, and compassion to all. The effect of Chekhov’s plays, on the actor or the audience member, is to inspire us more about life and ourselves. A spoken word, a pause, distant music, the flapping of wings, a meeting, and a farewell — step by step these elements create, through Chekhov’s language illusion, an image of a comprehensive piece of life. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our staff invites you to join us to celebrate a unique, artistic work experience. As an artist, you will touch upon and gain new discoveries and skills into the mysteries of Chekhov’s extraordinary masterpieces. During 2017, the Chekhov Theatre School invites the most innovative masters within the Art of Acting to share their skills and inspiration in our leading Master Courses, which take place in the most remarkable pearl of Russian theatre history — in Anton Chekhov’s village of Melikhovo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it is time — to work, to share and to inspire! Let us gather together to celebrate, learn, develop, uncover, nurture, and create!

Viktor Melnikov

Principal

Chekhov International Theatre School in Melikhovo

our-master-courses

OUR MASTER COURSES

JUNE - AUGUST 2017

THEATRICAL BIOMECHANICS OF MEYERHOLD with CLAUDIO MASSIMO PATERNÒ (Italy)
DISCOVER THE METHOD with LOLA COHEN (USA)  – editor and writer of “THE LEE STRASBERG NOTES” & “THE METHOD ACTING EXERCISES HANDBOOK”
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APPLY

Chekhov International Theatre School welcomes applicants who are undergraduate students or professionals within theatre and film. We look forward to learning about your artistic aspirations, professional goals and educational background. Please fill out all of the fields on below registration form, including your personal statement of motivation for participation. We thank you in advance and will get back to you shortly.

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Upon your admission, we will send you a confirmation letter with detailed information about payment, along with deadlines and other practical information about your participation.

* Note: by participating in one of our Master courses, you agree to take part in a work demonstration which will be open and presented to the public. By your participation, you have given us your agreement and permission (life-long term) to use any photo/video/audio with and of your contribution to the work. All of this material can be used in any and all PR contexts internationally. PR contexts include, but are not limited to: web, video presentation, radio, news and press sources, current and any other future social media sources.

about

ABOUT

Chekhov International Theatre School is a working venue and platform for international performing artists where we strive to provide professional development for the performing arts and to renew dialogue at the international level.

 

 

 

Chekhov International Theatre School, founded in 2010, is based within The State Literary and Memorial Museum of Anton Chekhov in the village of Melikhovo (Russian Federation) and has been providing continuing higher education within the performing arts: artistic knowledge, inspiration, artistic skills and new discoveries, for the international professional theatre environment.

 

 

 

At all times, theatres and their stage masters have created, transmitted and experimented with many different approaches and disciplines, which have resulted in the acquisition and mastery of skills and have uplifted the theatre arts. In this way, acting techniques and methodologies have evolved to be more and more refined and vital for the work within the Art of Acting. Our wish is to gather together these techniques and methods for the purpose of highlighting and sharing them with theatre professionals in a new and inspirational way.

 

 

 

 

 

Chekhov International Theatre School offers education in the performing arts with some of the world’s leading experts presenting their methods and approaches. We offer several annual Master Courses, Laboratories and significant International Symposiums with intensive 5 to 25-day educational/cultural programs with up to 100 participants. Our education is designed especially for professional actors, singers, performers, stage directors, choreographers, acting coaches, playwrights, theatre producers and artistic directors.

 

 

Chekhov International Theatre School in Melikhovo is also hosting a number of major theatrical projects year-round. “Melikhovo Spring” is a unique annual theatre festival, which focuses on productions of Chekhov’s plays. The festival is dedicated to Chekhov’s life and work, and is attended by theatre troupes from all over the world. The celebration of “The Seagull Day” is the 18th of November annually — the day, which marks the birthday of Anton Chekhov’s written play, “The Seagull.”

 

 

 

 

our-team

STAFF

With the greatest joy and passion, our staff provides continuing higher education within the performing arts to take participants to the next level of artistic knowledge, inspiration, artistic skills and new discoveries – designed for the international professional theatre environment.

Vladimir Baycher

Vladimir Baycher

Founder and Artistic Director
Viktor Melnikov

Viktor Melnikov

Principal
Alexander Gryaznov

Alexander Gryaznov

Project Manager
Kseniya A. Tchaikovskaya

Kseniya A. Tchaikovskaya

Memorial Museum's Chief Curator
Tanya Kalinina

Tanya Kalinina

Promotions Producer
Marina Lyapandra

Marina Lyapandra

Housekeeping Manager
Vladimir Baycher

Vladimir Baycher

Founder and Artistic Director
Viktor Melnikov

Viktor Melnikov

Principal
Alexander Gryaznov

Alexander Gryaznov

Project Manager
Kseniya A. Tchaikovskaya

Kseniya A. Tchaikovskaya

Memorial Museum's Chief Curator
Tanya Kalinina

Tanya Kalinina

Promotions Producer
Marina Lyapandra

Marina Lyapandra

Housekeeping Manager
thefaculty

THE FACULTY

Lola Cohen (USA)

Lola Cohen (USA)

The Master Teacher of Lee Strasberg’s Method, writer and editor of “The Lee Strasberg Notes” & “The Method Acting Exercises Handbook” Read Biography
Nikita Mikhalkov (Russia)

Nikita Mikhalkov (Russia)

One of the greatest Russian filmmakers, an actor and screenwriter Read Biography
Zoya Zadorozhanya (Russia)

Zoya Zadorozhanya (Russia)

The greatest Russian experts in voice and stage speech Read Biography
Prof. Dr. Jurij Alschitz (Germany)

Prof. Dr. Jurij Alschitz (Germany)

One of the major theatre directors and acting teacher Read Biography
Marjo-Riikka Makela (Finland)

Marjo-Riikka Makela (Finland)

A Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov technique, an actress and stage director Read Biography
Slava Kokorin (Russia)

Slava Kokorin (Russia)

Stage director of the dramatic theater arts and one of today’s most valuable master teachers on the legacy of the greatest actor of the 20th century, Michael Chekhov Read Biography
Tatyana Shah - Azizova (1937 - 2015)

Tatyana Shah - Azizova (1937 - 2015)

The world’s leading expert and researcher on the literary and artistic heritage of Anton Chekhov Read Biography
 Ulrich Meyer-Horsch (Germany)

Ulrich Meyer-Horsch (Germany)

A Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov technique, an actor and stage director Read Biography
Eric van Grootel (Nederland)

Eric van Grootel (Nederland)

The Master Teacher in Creative Speech and Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov technique Read Biography
Vladimir Anan'ev (Russia)

Vladimir Anan'ev (Russia)

A Master Teacher of the Movement Disciplines, an actor, stage director and a highly-regarded expert in pantomime and clowning Read Biography
Vladimir Baycher (Russia)

Vladimir Baycher (Russia)

Russian theatre director and Master Teacher Read Biography
Graham Dixon (United Kingdom)

Graham Dixon (United Kingdom)

A Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique. Actor and Stage Director. Artistic Director of the Michael Chekhov Studio London. Read Biography
Jobst Langhans (Germany)

Jobst Langhans (Germany)

A Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov technique, an actor and stage director Read Biography
Prof. Dr. Andrei Kirillov (Russia)

Prof. Dr. Andrei Kirillov (Russia)

The world’s leading expert and researcher on the literary and artistic heritage of Michael Chekhov Read Biography
Prof. Dr. Dunja Tot (Austria)

Prof. Dr. Dunja Tot (Austria)

The Master Teacher on the acting technique of Sanford Meisner Read Biography
Ángel Gutiérrez (Spain)

Ángel Gutiérrez (Spain)

One of the greatest and most influential modern theatre practitioners of our time, theatre director, and leading researcher of The Stanislavsky Method and of the literary and artistic heritage of Anton Chekhov Read Biography
Greta Amend (Germany)

Greta Amend (Germany)

The Master Teacher, actress, stage director, casting director Read Biography
Claudio Massimo Paternò (Italy)

Claudio Massimo Paternò (Italy)

A Master Teacher of Meyerhold's Biomechanics for Theatre, an actor and stage director Read Biography
Lola Cohen (USA)

Lola Cohen (USA)

The Master Teacher of Lee Strasberg’s Method, writer and editor of “The Lee Strasberg Notes” & “The Method Acting Exercises Handbook”

Lola Cohen (USA) trained with Lee Strasberg during the last five years of his life and has taught acting for 30 years at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute in NY and LA, and in private classes. After Lee’s death, Lola continued her training with Method actress/teacher Kim Stanley and the acclaimed director Jose Quintero. She has trained and directed hundreds of actors in scenes and plays during her career in the theater. Lola’s book, “The Lee Strasberg Notes,” done in close cooperation with the Institute and the Strasberg family, was published by Routledge in 2010 and is currently in its second printing. As a companion to “The Lee Strasberg Notes,” Lola Cohen is publishing her new latest bestseller (December 2016) “The Method Acting Exercises Handbook” — which offers even more discovery and exploration — it is truly an unparalleled and updated guide to this world-renowned technique.

Nikita Mikhalkov (Russia)

Nikita Mikhalkov (Russia)

One of the greatest Russian filmmakers, an actor and screenwriter

Nikita Mikhalkov, who wrote, directed and played the lead role of Serguei in “Burnt by the Sun,” was born in Moscow in 1945 into a distinguished artistic family. His great grandfather, Vassily Surnikov and his grandfather, Pyotr Konchalovsky, were both acclaimed painters, his father, Sergei Mikhalkov, is a well known writer of children’s literature (he also wrote the lyrics to the Soviet national anthem), his mother, Natalkia, is a poet, and his older brother is the filmmaker Andrei (Mikhalkov-)Konchalovsky (“Siberiade,” “Maria’s Lovers,” “Runaway Train,””Shy People”)
Mikhalkov studied acting at the children’s studio of the Stanislavsky Theatre and later at the Chuksin School of the Vakhtangov Theatre. While still a student, he apppeared in Georgy Danelia’s film “I Walk in Moscow” (1964) and his brother Andrei Konchalovsky’s film “A Nest of Gentry” (1969). He was soon on his way to becoming a star of the Soviet stage and cinema.

While continuing to pursue his acting career, he then went to VGIK, the state film school in Moscow, where he studied directing under filmmaker Mikhail Romm, teacher to his brother and Andrei Tarkovsky. He directed his first short film in 1968, “I’m Coming Home,” and another for his graduation, “A Quiet Day at the End of the War” in 1970. Mikhalkov had appeared in over twenty films, including his brother’s “Uncle Vanya” (1972), before he co-wrote, directed and starred in his first feature, “At Home Among Strangers” in 1974, a kind of Soviet Western set during the 1920s civil war.

Mikhalkov established an international reputation with his second feature, “A Slave of Love” (1976). Set in 1917, it followed the efforts of a film crew to make a silent melodrama in a resort town while the Revolution rages around them. The film was highly acclaimed upon its release in the U.S.

Mikhalkov’s next film, “An Unfinished Piece for Player Piano” (1977) was adapted by Mikhalkov from Chekhov’s early play, “Platonov,” and won the first prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival. In 1978, while starring in his brother’s epic film “Siberiade,” Mikhalkov made “Five Evenings,” a love story about a couple separated by World War II, who meet again after fifteen years. Mikhalkov’s next film, “Oblomov” (1980), is based on Ivan Goncharov classic novel about a lazy young nobleman who refuses to leave his bed. “Family Relations” (1981) is a comedy about a provincial woman in Moscow dealing with the tangled relationships of her relatives. “Without Witnesses” (1983) tracks a long night’s conversation between a woman and her ex-husband when they are accidentally locked in a room.

Incorporating several short stories by Chekhov, “Dark Eyes” (1987) stars Marcello Mastroianni as an old man who tells a story of a romance he had when he was younger, a woman he has never been able to forget. The film was highly praised, and Mastroianni received the Best Actor Prize at the Cannes Film Festival and an Academy Award nomination for his performance. Mikhalkov’s next film, “Close to Eden” (1992, aka “Urga”), set in the little known world of the Mongols, who live on the border between Russia and China, was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film. Mikhalkov’s “Anna: 6-18” (1993) documents his daughter Anna as she grows from childhood to maturity.

Mikhalkov has continued his acting career, appearing in such films as “The Call,” “Song to Manchuk,” “The Red Tent,” “Flights of Fancy,” “Station for Two, “Cruel Romance,” and many of his own films, including “At Home Among Strangers,” “A Slave of Love,” “An Unfinished Piece for Player Piano” and “Burnt by the Sun.” He has built up a reputation as an actor’s director. Mikhalkov says that he improvises on the set, “in the way that Bergman does; that’s to say during long careful rehearsals, which are the only way to give the team, and particularly the actors, the freedom they need. I find it impossible to have a complete blueprint for a film. Partly because I’m not sure that what I intend to do will be right, and partly because a film is always a living thing and I need to confirm this constantly. I don’t set out to ‘make cinema.’ it’s rather that something happens between the cinema and me and the result is a film.”

Zoya Zadorozhanya (Russia)

Zoya Zadorozhanya (Russia)

The greatest Russian experts in voice and stage speech

In 1968, Zoya graduated from the acting department of Vladivostok Institute of Arts. Since 1982, Zoya has taught the art of acting. As a teacher, she is recognized as an expert in both voice and stage speech for actors.

Zoya Zadorozhnaya was born in the Far East of Russia. In 1968, she graduated from the acting department of Vladivostok Institute of Arts. Zoya is an actress who has worked in Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, and Irkutsk. Since 1982, Zoya has taught the art of acting.

As a teacher, she is recognized as an expert in both voice and stage speech for actors. Zoya’s speech and voice lessons focus on several important foundational elements for the actor, such as the nature of sound formation and generation, the freedom and ease of the voice, and the power and clarity of the voice.

In her work, Zoya uses the broad techniques of Eastern Theater Training which are based on the independence of the imagination itself. Zoya has successfully conducted study classes and master classes for professional actors and students in many locales, such as Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Kazakhstan and France.

Prof. Dr. Jurij Alschitz (Germany)

Prof. Dr. Jurij Alschitz (Germany)

One of the major theatre directors and acting teacher

Jurij Alschitz was born in Odessa, received his first education in directing in Moscow (State University of Culture) in 1973 from Prof. J. N. Malkowskij (one of the then few remaining living students of Stanislavski). After numerous creations in the main cities of the Soviet Union, he continued his education as director in GITIS – The State Institute for Theatre Art in Moscow in 1983. In 1987, he completed his most significant educational undertaking as an acting teacher through the Ministry of Culture, USSR, and then began his teaching position at the GITIS in 1989.

In 1987, Jurij Alschitz took part in the foundation of the theatre “School of Dramatic Art” of Anatolij Vasiliev in Moscow, where he regularly participated as actor, director, and pedagogue ever since its inauguration. At this theatre, he developed an independent method of actor training via improvisation, and participated with the ensemble in large international festivals in Europe, North and South America, and Asia — where he (the ensemble) was awarded several international prizes.

Since 1992, he has directed projects and seminars in European theatres, universities, and theatre schools in Germany, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, England, USA, Norway, and Brazil.

In 1994, Jurij and his assistants created the European net of theatre education and laboratory work – EATC/the European Association for Theatre Culture. He is the artistic director of AKT-ZENT, Berlin (which was designated as the Research Centre of the Theatre Training Committee – ITI/UNESCO in 2006), PROTEI/Progetti teatrali internazionali, Milan, and SCUT/Nordic theatre research centre (skandinaviskt centrum för utforskning av teater), Stockholm.

Prof. Dr. Jurij Alschitz has published many articles in theatre magazines and newspapers; he is author of the books “La Grammatica dell Attore. Il Training,” Italia – Ubulibri (1998, 2001, 2003); ‘La Matematica dell Attore,” Italia – Ubulibri (2004); “The Vertical of the Role” (in German, English, Italian, and Swedish), Deutschland – ars incognita (2003); “Training forever!” Sweden (2004); and “40 Questions of one Role” (in German and English), Deutschland – ars incognita (2005).

Marjo-Riikka Makela (Finland)

Marjo-Riikka Makela (Finland)

A Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov technique, an actress and stage director

Marjo-Riikka Makela has specialized in a variety of different acting techniques, is a faculty member of the Michael Chekhov Association, and has worked extensively with the Michael Chekhov Technique, both as an actress and director.

Some of Marjo-Riikka’s favorite roles include: Medea under the direction of David Bridel, Yelena in Uncle Vanya at the Classic Stage Company in NYC, and her work with Sarah Kane and Andrei Malaev-Babel at the Stanislavsky Theatre Studio in Washington DC. Her favorite directing credits include many Anton Chekhov plays, Shakespeare, Schiller, T. Williams, and an abundance of devised work.

Recently, Ms. Makela has taught at the Stanislavsky Institute, National Theatre Academy and the National Theatre of Finland, California State University LB, Acting Corps Studios, ActorFest, Chapman University, Loyola Marymount University, The Insurgo Theater Movement, The Actor’s Movement Studio (NYC), the INTAR Theater (NYC), The Actors’ Gang, University of Southern California, and CalArts MFA programs. Marjo-Riikka does weekly private coaching for many successful TV and film professionals. She has coached actors for films and series, such as HER, Togetherness, Reunion, 10 Year Plan, True Blood, Madmen, CSI, Californication, Mentalist, Castle, Nip Tuck, Alphas, Body of Proof, Ghost Whisperer, Entourage, How I Met your Mother, General Hospital, Night Shift, Bones, Numb3rs, Deadwood, in Treatment … to mention a few.

She has clients around the world, and she has been featured in Back Stage, the Los Angeles Times, American Theater Magazine, and several major European publications. Marjo-Riikka is an honorary member of the Stanislavsky Institute and School of Cinema.

Slava Kokorin (Russia)

Slava Kokorin (Russia)

Stage director of the dramatic theater arts and one of today’s most valuable master teachers on the legacy of the greatest actor of the 20th century, Michael Chekhov

Slava Kokorin (Vyacheslav Vsevolodovich Kokorin) has directed and guided many of what are considered in our modern times as the best theatre troupes in the world. Since 1982, Slava has worked with a particular kind of theatre pedagogy – acting based on the artistic principles left to us by one of the greatest actors of the 20th century – Michael Chekhov. Today, Slava is regarded as one of the most valuable teachers who have the capacity to realize the legacy of Michael Chekhov. In 2009, Slava was the Stanislavski Prize winner in nomination of “The best theatre pedagogue.”

Slava Kokorin was born on May 30, 1944 in Ulan-Ude, the capital city of the Republic of Buryatia in Russia. Slava graduated from the Belarusian Institute of Art and Theatre in Minsk (1967), the St. Petersburg Academy of Theatre Arts (1973), and the Russian Institute of Cinematography (1975). As a stage director, Slava has staged over 100 productions in countries including Russia, Denmark, Poland, Germany, Estonia, Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, Italy, Great Britain and the United States (Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center).

And on several occasions he has been awarded “Best Theatre Performance” and “Best Theatre Director” of the National Theatre Award’s “Golden Mask” (Moscow), and at The International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ) with “Burn, Burn, My Star” by Yuli Dunsky.

Slava Kokorin continues to participate annually at the International Michael Chekhov Conferences in Moscow and Berlin and as a leading member of the Presidium at The International Michael Chekhov Association (MICHA). Slava has been invited to teach all over the world in countries including France, Belgium, Indonesia, Germany, Switzerland, USA, Cuba, Senegal, Poland and many more. In addition, from 1993 to 200, Slava organized the Baykal Theatre School with the participation of trainees from Russia, US, Spain, Japan, Denmark, Holland, England, Finland, and Germany.

Tatyana Shah - Azizova (1937 - 2015)

Tatyana Shah - Azizova (1937 - 2015)

The world’s leading expert and researcher on the literary and artistic heritage of Anton Chekhov

Tatyana Shah – Azizova (1937 – 2015) is the world’s leading expert and researcher on the literary and artistic heritage of Anton Chekhov. In her latest award-winning book, “Half a Century in the Theater of Chekhov” (2010), Tatyana collected articles by a well-known theater critic and dedicated it to the 150th birthday of Anton Chekhov. In it, she discussed the traditions of staging Chekhov`s plays in Russia and abroad, Chekhov`s evolution from play to play, new theatre forms of presenting his work, and the expansion of Chekhov`s geographic appeal and style, and included a dialogue on the theme of “time.”

 Ulrich Meyer-Horsch (Germany)

Ulrich Meyer-Horsch (Germany)

A Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov technique, an actor and stage director

Ulrich Meyer-Horsch is a well-known stage actor in Germany, with 25 years of experience performing at German state and regional theatres, including Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg, Schauspiel Frankfurt, Theater Kiel, Theater Lübeck, and Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin. Recently, he has been playing the leading part in Goethe’s ‘Faust I+II’ at Forum Theater Stuttgart, directed by Jobst Langhans. Ulrich has worked in many countries, with artists such as Augusto Boal, Simon McBurney and Complicite, Philippe Gaulier, and Yoshi Oida. As an award-winning director, he is known for his playful productions of the works of Bertolt Brecht. Since 2014, he has been the Associate Artistic Director of Kreuzgangspiele Feuchtwangen.

Ulrich holds diplomas in Acting from Schule für Schauspiel Hamburg, and in Theology, Philosophy and Theatre Pedagogy from the Universities of Heidelberg, Hamburg, London (King’s College), and Kiel. In the 80’s and 90’s, he studied with Chekhov’s former students Hurt Hatfield, Deidre Hurst du Prey, Mala Powers and Joanna Merlin, as well as with master teachers from Germany and Russia.

A Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique, he incorporates in his own approach the exploration of children’s games and work with masks. Since 1994, Ulrich has been teaching throughout Europe, as well as in Brazil, the US and Taiwan. He is a guest lecturer at University of Arts Zürich (Switzerland) and Yeditepe University Istanbul (Turkey), and a faculty member of MICHA, New York (USA). Ulrich is also a founding member of Michael Chekhov Europe (MCE) and has published several essays on Chekhov and actors’ training, which have been translated into English, Turkish, Swedish, Finnish and Mandarin.

Liisa Byckling (Finland)

Author of books and articles on Michael Chekhov

Liisa Byckling, Ph.D., Professor Adjunct (Russian Cultural Studies), University of Helsinki. She has taught Russian literature and theatre history at the University of Helsinki. Work abroad: Institute for Art History, St Petersburg; the Averell Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York, Department of Drama and Theatre Arts (British Academy Visiting Fellow), Birmingham University; Wolfson College, University of Oxford. Books in Russian: Letters from Michael Chekhov to Mstislav Doboujinsky (émigré years, 1938-1951) (Helsinki University Press, 1992; 2nd, comp. ed. St Petersburg, 1994); Michael Chekhov in Western Theatre and Cinema (Ph.D. dissertation, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki, 2000) (published: St Petersburg, 560 pp.).

It gives a complete survey of Chekhov’s work as actor, director, and teacher from Moscow to Europe and the United States (1912-55). The recent book: Finnish-Russian literary and theatrical contacts in the XIX and XX c. (in Russian) (St Petersburg, 2015, 440 pp., 84 ill.), includes also an article on M. Chekhov.

Book in Finnish: A History of Russian Theatre in Helsinki, 1868 -1918. (Helsinki: 2009, 416 pp, 170 ill.) Articles in Russian, Finnish, English, German, French on Michael Chekhov, as well as on Russian theatre and literature. The most recent: ‘Michael Chekhov, the Director’ in The Michael Chekhov Companion (Routledge May 2015). Lectures on Michael Chekhov in many European countries, Russia, and the U.S. A forthcoming book: Michael Chekhov: Life and Work. Moscow, Europe, the United States.

Eric van Grootel (Nederland)

Eric van Grootel (Nederland)

The Master Teacher in Creative Speech and Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov technique

Eric Van Grootel is a Master Teacher in Creative Speech, Awareness Training, Voice Dialogue, Process Work and Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov technique.

Eric has been helping lots of people in finding their creative Channel during his 25 years of teaching singing, speech, theatre, management and mental work. He was co-leader of the Dutch Michael Chekhov Institute and a teacher in many International Michael Chekhov Workshops and Russian theatre schools.

As a theatre and music director he staged music theatre, opera, multimedia and choir productions, modern and classical theater; as artistic leader of Muziektheater ImpAkt; often in Russia, e.g.’Phenix and Turtle’ in Moscow; ’Fly Seagull!’ a mix of Anton Chekhov and Richard Bach in Irkutsk. His ’MacBeth’ was a hit in the Smolensk region.

As a performer he works in music theatre, sound-improvisation and multimedia productions, also in solo programs with his own texts and songs. He is author of theatre scripts, poetry, song- and choir compositions.

Eric finished his professional education as a singer, philosopher and teacher and has been researching the connection between sound, breath, theatre and spiritual growth his entire life, with artistic techniques and Shamanic, Buddhist and Christian methods.

Vladimir Anan'ev (Russia)

Vladimir Anan'ev (Russia)

A Master Teacher of the Movement Disciplines, an actor, stage director and a highly-regarded expert in pantomime and clowning

Vladimir Anan’ev is a Russian theatre director, actor and world-renowned teacher of movement disciplines within the art of acting; and is a highly-regarded expert in pantomime and clowning approaches.

Vladimir participated in more than 100 creative projects as an actor, stage director and producer in Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, the United Kingdom, France and Germany, as well as many other countries. Currently he is the leading stage director at Moscow Theater of Clown Art (Teatrium na Serpukhovke).

Vladimir Baycher (Russia)

Vladimir Baycher (Russia)

Russian theatre director and Master Teacher

Vladimir Baycher in 1994, graduated from The Russian University of Theatre Arts (GITIS), under the artistic direction of Leonid Heyfets. Today, Vladimir still teaches at the Directing Department at The Theatre Institute of the Boris Shchukin in Moscow and at The Russian University of Theatre Arts (GITIS).

To-date, Vladimir has staged over twenty theatre productions in Moscow and abroad. Vladimir organized and participated in many international projects, in particular, Michael Chekhov International workshops and Master Classes. Vladimir underwent training under the guidance of George Zhdanov. Zhdanov was a student and colleague of Chekhov, and received his certificate to teach the Michael Chekhov acting method.

Vladimir Baycher is the Founder and Artistic Director of the International Theatre Festival “The Melikhovo Spring.” “The Melikhovo Spring” is a unique annual theater festival which focuses on productions of Chekhov’s plays or performances. The festival is dedicated to Chekhov’s life and work, and is attended by theatre troupes from all over the world.

Graham Dixon (United Kingdom)

Graham Dixon (United Kingdom)

A Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique. Actor and Stage Director. Artistic Director of the Michael Chekhov Studio London.

Graham has been involved in Michael Chekhov work as a professional actor, director and teacher for nearly 50 years having studied with and met many of Chekhov’s original students. He is recognized internationally as one of the artists and most important teachers in this approach to the world of imagination and creation.

He first trained and worked professionally as an actor in Sydney, Australia, where he studied voice & speech with Alice Crowther – Chekhov’s speech & eurythmy teacher in England and USA. Contact with Alice and later with the acting method of Chekhov brought an awareness of the inner nature of the actor’s craft: this interest has been the leitmotif throughout his professional life.

Graham furthered his training in Rudolf Steiner’s Creative Speech Method (taught by Alice) at the Goetheanum in Switzerland and The London School of Speech Formation. This was followed by three years work as a theatre director of Shakespeare plays and devised works with young people in Germany. Returning to Australia, he started his own theatre company, Dionysia Productions, and produced Henry IV, Part 1 in 1980. Since then, he has been active in directing, writing and performing for his company, which has toured Australia, the UK and Europe with imagination-based fairytale and Shakespeare programmes. In 1984 he returned to Europe and was a co-founder of the Michael Chekhov Centre UK (MCCUK), now known as Michael Chekhov UK (MCUK).

In 2005, Graham founded the Michael Chekhov Studio London (MCSL) in England and continues to offer workshops and classes in the UK, in Europe and USA. Actor and author, Simon Callow is the MCSL patron (formerly Mala Powers, Chekhov’s executrix). Like Michael Chekhov, Graham has an interest in the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and his Anthroposophy (Spiritual Science).

Jobst Langhans (Germany)

Jobst Langhans (Germany)

A Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov technique, an actor and stage director

Born 1955 (director, actor, drama teacher). Studied Church music and philosophy, private drama training with Else Bongers and Jürgen v. Alten. Has been engaged by various stages in Berlin, Germany and abroad as actor and director. 1983-95 director of the theaterforum kreuzberg. Since 1983 director of the Michael Tschechow Studio Berlin. Initiator and organiser of the first International Michael Tschechow Conference in Berlin in 1992 and the fourth Michael Chekhov Workshop (MCIW) in Berlin in 1995. 1992-95 Minister or the International Michael Chekhov Association. Since 1998 director of the WERKBÜHNE BERLIN. Guest lecturer/director at drama schools and Universities in Germany and abroard. Director of masterclasses in Moscow, London, Madrid, Riga, Glasgow, Amsterdam, New York, Zagreb, Helsinki, Istanbul and others. Master lecturer/teacher of the Michael Chekhov Association – USA. Training partner for organizational development.

Prof. Dr. Andrei Kirillov (Russia)

Prof. Dr. Andrei Kirillov (Russia)

The world’s leading expert and researcher on the literary and artistic heritage of Michael Chekhov

Andrei Kirillov, PhD, theatre historian and researcher, teaches at The International Programs of the European University at St. Petersburg. Program Professor for MARCA (MA in Russian Cultural History and the Arts).

Have being teaching in the Russian State Institute of Performing Arts, in St. Petersburg State Institute of Culture, in Connecticut College (USA). Delivered gest lectures in different universities of Russia, Europe, Great Britain and America, provided lectures and seminars at numerous international theatre conferences and workshops.

Over 26 years worked as a senior researcher in the Russian Institute of History of the Arts (St. Petersburg). Published over 300 articles dedicated for the history, theory and methodology of Russian theatre. Acted as an editor and co-editor for dozen books. Was a scriptwriter and consultant for video documentary films.

Kirillov’s prime research interests are connected with the history and theory of acting and directing, the main theater systems, artistic methods and aesthetic principles of the Russian theater of the 20th century. The Theater of Michael Chekhov is the main and central among his professional interests.

Some publications in English:
– The theatrical System of Michael Chekhov in The Routledge Companion to Michael Chekhov. Routledge, 2015;
– Michael Chekhov and the Search for the ‘Ideal’ Theatre in the New Theatre Quarterly, 87. Volume XXII. Part 3. August 2006.
Co-editing in English:
– (jointly with Franc Chamberlain) Rehearsal protocols for Hamlet by William Shakespeare at the Second Moscow Art Theatre in Theatre, Dance and Performance Training. Michael Chekhov. Vol. 4, Issue 2, July 2013.
– (jointly with Bella Merlin) Michael Chekhov. The Path of the Actor. Routledge, 2005.

Prof. Dr. Dunja Tot (Austria)

Prof. Dr. Dunja Tot (Austria)

The Master Teacher on the acting technique of Sanford Meisner

Dunja Tot was born in Zagreb, formerly Yugoslavia, now Croatia. There she studied piano, philosophy, film and theater directing. After finishing her studies, she received a Fulbright Grant, and studied at Boston University in Boston and Harvard University in Cambridge. Being close to music, she started to specialize, directing opera, musical and post dramatic musical theatre. After several productions, she went to work with Harry Kupfer, at the Komische Oper in Berlin. Returning home, she continued to direct opera, but also directed drama theater, children’s theater, puppets and happenings. Her production of Mozart’s “Bastian and Bastienne” got a prize at the Jerusalem Theater Festival.

Very early on, Dunja started to direct for the Educational Channel on TV and worked on several movie productions as an assistant director. Later on she went to Hollywood to specialize in film coaching, working with Jeremiah Comey.

Parallel to directing, she started to teach immediately after finishing her studies, and hasn’t stopped till now. In the middle of her career, she moved to Vienna, Austria, and started her new career from the beginning. She continued to direct, coach and teach theatre and film acting. She started to use the Meisner approach first in the Film School Vienna, being aware that this approach is very useful for film acting and for working on set. She first met Larry Silverberg when he was teaching in Berlin, and decided to come to Florida to take his master classes for teachers.

In Vienna, Dunja Tot is professor at the Conservatorium Vienna, Elfriede Ott Acting Academy, and has her own studio “PALLAS,” where she teaches The Meisner technique and coaches for film and theatre. Dunja has been married for 45 years, and has one daughter Irina, and a fox terrier Uri.

Ángel Gutiérrez (Spain)

Ángel Gutiérrez (Spain)

One of the greatest and most influential modern theatre practitioners of our time, theatre director, and leading researcher of The Stanislavsky Method and of the literary and artistic heritage of Anton Chekhov

Ángel Gutiérrez was born in Havana in 1936, and soon after traveled to Spain with his mother, brothers and sisters. In Spain, they settled down in Pintueles, a little village in Asturias, where he spent his first childhood and where he was lovingly known by everyone as “Angelito”.

Ángel remembers these fond times and tenderly tells adventures from a time when he lived, as he describes, like a “God-child.” He recounts stories of his experiences with a shepherd on the mountains, how a donkey stepped on his flute, how he for the first time listened to a music band…and how without him realizing it, he was beginning to create his artistic and spiritual world.

This first childhood was abruptly transformed when he was six years old and was taken to Kooperasiya (U.S.S.R), as a part of the group called “War Children” that escaped from The Spanish Civil War terror. He had to depart, and with no time had to leave behind his village and people, and commence what was the beginning of a life path full of artistic experiences. When he arrived in Russia, he lived with other “war children” in a boarding school in Stalingrad for ten years. “There I received all the love that a man can feel. And had masters that gave me everything — in them I met the father figure that I had never enjoyed.”

That’s the time that later inspired him to write, “A la mar fui por naranjas” (“To the sea I went for oranges”) – a film script that he dreams of directing one day.

During his youth, he remembers the cold in the Ural mountains, the Siege of Leningrad, moments when he starved, Stalin…but in his memories there is never sadness or cruelty, rather they are full of light, love and sacrifice for that country, for its spirit, for its people…there was such an ideal, and a naïve, but strong faith for transforming the world into a better place, that the essence of that little Spanish child was forever transformed into Russian — pure Russian soul. According to his words, “My second childhood in Russia – Leningrad…my first masters…helped me to open my eyes and discover the meaning of life — to live for others, for justice in the world, and fraternity among all mankind in the world.” He remembers this as a very important time for his artistic discovery – a time “…without pain, loss, suffering, war, starvation. We can discover what is essential in life and art, and live to overcome oneself.”

Once he became an adult, he joined the State Art Academy in Moscow where he received a degree in Theatre Direction with outstanding marks and an Honorable Mention. He was very fortunate to have received an exquisite artistic training with masters that were direct pupils of Stanislavsky, Vakhtangov, Meyerhold, Michael Chekhov, Labanov, María Knebel, Gorchakov, and Kedrov. At this time, he found his love for the theatre, and also studied a higher degree in filmmaking. Once he finished his degree, he became an Acting and Directing Professor for eighteen years.

Over the course of many years, Ángel Gutiérrez collaborated with some of the great passionate souls of his generation, such as Pyotr Fomenko, Dionisio García, and with one of cinema’s most legendary filmmakers, Andrei Tarkovsky — with whom he participated on the film “The Mirror.”

Later in life, Ángel Gutiérrez made the decision of giving everything he had learned in Russia to his Spanish nation, and in 1974, he returned to Spain “…to give my people everything that my masters had given me.” According to his own words, that was the most difficult decision he ever made.

With this passionate group of young Spanish actors, Ángel Gutiérrez created the “Studio Theatre” — that would later be known as “Teatro de Cámara Chekhov,” a theatre that turned into a great artistic temple and remains a unique reference on the Spanish Theatre landscape today. There, with his wife Ludila Ukulova, a great Russian actress, they offered the Spanish audiences theatre productions of a very fine quality, and trained actors for over thirty years.

Russian television has dedicated a documentary film to Ángel Gutiérrez’s life called, “His Name is Angel Gutierrez.” And in Spain, another documentary has been created dedicated to his life and work called “The Last Russian Master.”

Ángel Gutiérrez is currently working on gathering and publishing his memoirs.

Greta Amend (Germany)

Greta Amend (Germany)

The Master Teacher, actress, stage director, casting director

Greta Amend studied drama at the Hannover College for Music and Theatre (1983-1987). She subsequently continued her studies with Anatolij Vasiljev at the Theatre of Dramatic Arts in Moscow. With the International Theatre Centre Akt-Zent and the GITIS Academy Moscow she studied acting and directing, including most techniques based on the Russian school. Her teachers were Prof. Vassili Skorik, Prof. Jurij Alschitz and Prof. Sergej Issayev.

Gretas substantial education as artist is enriched by her participation in the international theatre and film directing workshops of Künstlerhaus Bethanien which enjoyed cult status in the Berlin of the early 90´s. Greta Amend thru her career studied with directors as Krzysztof Kieślowski, Peter Palitzsch, Thomas Schulte-Michels, Ruth Zapora, Sergej Ashkenasy, Yoshi Oida and Wojiech Marczewski. Additional private lessons involved extensive repertoires work with actors from Peter Stein´s former ensemble of Schaubühne Berlin.

Amongst her film training teachers were Danish director Henning Carlsen and Rae Allen. Greta has been pursuing her acting career by working extensively in theatre productions with numerous foreign and local companies in Europe for 25 years. She´d been working project-based as a director for theatre and film, and has been forwarding her broad knowledge regularly as a guest-lecturer at various film and theatre ¬schools, like the German Film Academy Berlin.

As a casting director her credits encompass the serial casting of Europe’s most popular daily soap opera and with more than 40 productions from short-films and feature films to the 700-hour screen epic „Dau“ by Ilya Khrzhanovsky, the biggest russian-european co-production to this day, where she was responsible for the casting process in Europe and North America.

Periodically Greta Amend is participating in the “International Directors´ and Trainers´ Colloquiums” of the European Association for Theatre Culture, Akt-Zent Berlin, Research Centre of the International Theatre Institute ITI, focusing on new training methods and theatre ethics.

Throughout her career she has compiled an own set of exercises designed to prepare the modern actor and director for the work on stage and on-camera. These exercises have become the cornerstone of her practice-oriented method, which she has been teaching throughout Europe. This series of exercises focuses on refining of new and already existing acting techniques and on optimizing the artists´ abilities beyond classical techniques and terms.

Claudio Massimo Paternò (Italy)

Claudio Massimo Paternò (Italy)

A Master Teacher of Meyerhold's Biomechanics for Theatre, an actor and stage director

Claudio graduated in 2000 as an actor at the Drama School of the University Theatre Centre – Teatro Stabile of Umbria (CUT-TSU) at which he works, until 2004, as tutor of the courses. Under Roberto Ruggieri guide (Artistic Director of the CUT-TSU) Paternò started a long research on Asian performing arts that will take him to practice some aspects of the Theatre No, the Butho and some Indonesian and Indian dances.

It also began an in-depth study of Theatrical Biomechanics of Meyerhold with Master Gennadi Nikolaevich Bogdanov (his teacher at the CUT-TSU at that time). In 2003 he specializes in the International School of Biomechanics at the Mime Centrum Berlin. On this occasion Claudio Massimo Paternò and Master Bogdanov decide to work together and to found the International Centre of Theatrical Biomechanics Studies (CISBiT) based in Perugia, which aims to hand down the Theatrical Biomechanics as a pedagogical system.

Since 2004 Claudio Massimo Paternò, Artistic Coordinator of CISBit, assists Maestro Bogdanov in two working sessions that CISBiT annually organized and accompanies him in work demonstrations in Italy and abroad.

As pedagogue, performs annually in Perugia preparatory courses of Theatrical Biomechanics of Meyerhold. He was a guest at the University of Aarhus (Denmark), University of Rome La Sapienza, the University of Arezzo studies, the Federal University of Porto Alegre (Brazil), at the International Festival of the Actor of Naples and Congress national UILT Milan.

Claudio is an actor since 2006 at the Teatro Stabile of Innovation – Fontemaggiore of Perugia – with whom is starring in various production for children. Since 2000 he is a director, first with the company Micro Theatre Marique Earth that is still artistic director and later with Studio Obraz, Art Niveau and MiniTeatrò. With the show The fairies of the night has been named three times at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival (best lyrics, performance and production); Earthquake with the show won the “Nutrients contemporary emergencies in 2009” in Terni, the award for best monologue “Young Reality of Theatre 2009” in Udine and came in second in the national competition “MarteLive 2010” in Rome; with the show The Art of Fugue the award “In Itinere-2011” of Marsciano (Pg). He edited the translation of the monographic essay “Meyerhold” by B. Picon-Vallin adopted in various degree courses in Italy, working closely with prof. Fausto Malcovati (University of Milan).

sharing-lesson

Sharing Lesson on MICHAEL CHEKHOV.

SLAVA KOKORIN (Russia) – the world-renowned stage directors of the dramatic theater arts and one of today’s most valuable master teachers on the legacy of the greatest actor of the 20th century, Michael Chekhov.

testimonials

TESTIMONIALS

  • Sarah Kane (United Kingdom), Theatre Director and Teacher of Acting and Co-founder of the Michael Chekhov Centre, UK

    “Extraordinary and important work to further Michael Chekhov’s creative approach to the theatre.”

    Sarah Kane (United Kingdom), Theatre Director and Teacher of Acting and Co-founder of the Michael Chekhov Centre, UK
  • Graham Dixon (United Kingdom), A Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique. Actor and Stage Director. Artistic Director of the Michael Chekhov Studio London.

    “A magical place where magical things can happen! My time there, supported by the wonderful Viktor and Alexander was memorable and very special. Celebrating Michael Chekhov’s 125th Anniversary on his Uncle Anton’s estate was a great honour and privilege. They were both there with us in the work and in our hearts!”

    Graham Dixon (United Kingdom), A Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique. Actor and Stage Director. Artistic Director of the Michael Chekhov Studio London.
  • Tatjana Ažman, (Slovenia), Member of the Executive Council ITI Worldwide – World Organization for the Performing Arts

    “Chekhov Theatre School is a unique opportunity for sharing, art communication, and a lively exchange of ideas between artists from all over the world. I do believe that the future of theatre practice lies in such projects which are able to reach out for the performing arts and which help to build mutual understanding and collaboration — both of which are so important in this changing time.”

    Tatjana Ažman, (Slovenia), Member of the Executive Council ITI Worldwide – World Organization for the Performing Arts
  • Nigel O’Neill, Actor, Ireland

    “I felt so enriched; I unfolded with many new discoveries which I can use in my day-to-day life and my acting work. Something is more alive in me. This may sound a little strange, but I was trying to observe where I feel this sensation, and it feels like it is coming from somewhere below my right shoulder.”

    Nigel O’Neill, Actor, Ireland
  • Atso Akkanen, Actor, Finland

    “This place truly enlightens and reinforces your understanding about Russian art and theatre literature. When you walk the same path as Chekhov and his family have, and feel the same melancholic stream of air, there is no doubt that this is making a contribution to your artistic life!”

    Atso Akkanen, Actor, Finland
  • Lola Cohen (USA), Master Teacher and Editor of “The Lee Strasberg Notes”

    “What a joy it was to live and work in such a remarkable place as the village of Melikhovo — the estate where Chekhov and his family lived, friends visited, and where Chekhov created some of his masterpieces.”  

    Lola Cohen (USA), Master Teacher and Editor of “The Lee Strasberg Notes”
  • Alexandra Tomilina, Actress, Russia

    “To work and live in Melikhovo where inspiration just floats above you! The strong feeling of the spirit of Anton Chekhov is near you while you are working on Nina’s character in Melnikovo’s garden. Rehearsing “The Seagull” in that place where it was written – it’s just incredible.”

    Alexandra Tomilina, Actress, Russia
  • Yana Rusinova, Actress, Russia

    “An unforgettable experience, amazing discoveries, vivid emotions, and such new sensations. I am grateful for each and every day I spent in this magical and unforgettable place! I would say more – the world around me has changed! It is true! It is difficult to convey in words … something has been revealed inside of me forever!”

    Yana Rusinova, Actress, Russia
  • Sarah Kane (United Kingdom), Theatre Director and Teacher of Acting and Co-founder of the Michael Chekhov Centre, UK

    “Extraordinary and important work to further Michael Chekhov’s creative approach to the theatre.”

    Sarah Kane (United Kingdom), Theatre Director and Teacher of Acting and Co-founder of the Michael Chekhov Centre, UK
  • Graham Dixon (United Kingdom), A Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique. Actor and Stage Director. Artistic Director of the Michael Chekhov Studio London.

    “A magical place where magical things can happen! My time there, supported by the wonderful Viktor and Alexander was memorable and very special. Celebrating Michael Chekhov’s 125th Anniversary on his Uncle Anton’s estate was a great honour and privilege. They were both there with us in the work and in our hearts!”

    Graham Dixon (United Kingdom), A Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique. Actor and Stage Director. Artistic Director of the Michael Chekhov Studio London.
  • Tatjana Ažman, (Slovenia), Member of the Executive Council ITI Worldwide – World Organization for the Performing Arts

    “Chekhov Theatre School is a unique opportunity for sharing, art communication, and a lively exchange of ideas between artists from all over the world. I do believe that the future of theatre practice lies in such projects which are able to reach out for the performing arts and which help to build mutual understanding and collaboration — both of which are so important in this changing time.”

    Tatjana Ažman, (Slovenia), Member of the Executive Council ITI Worldwide – World Organization for the Performing Arts
  • Nigel O’Neill, Actor, Ireland

    “I felt so enriched; I unfolded with many new discoveries which I can use in my day-to-day life and my acting work. Something is more alive in me. This may sound a little strange, but I was trying to observe where I feel this sensation, and it feels like it is coming from somewhere below my right shoulder.”

    Nigel O’Neill, Actor, Ireland
  • Atso Akkanen, Actor, Finland

    “This place truly enlightens and reinforces your understanding about Russian art and theatre literature. When you walk the same path as Chekhov and his family have, and feel the same melancholic stream of air, there is no doubt that this is making a contribution to your artistic life!”

    Atso Akkanen, Actor, Finland
  • Lola Cohen (USA), Master Teacher and Editor of “The Lee Strasberg Notes”

    “What a joy it was to live and work in such a remarkable place as the village of Melikhovo — the estate where Chekhov and his family lived, friends visited, and where Chekhov created some of his masterpieces.”  

    Lola Cohen (USA), Master Teacher and Editor of “The Lee Strasberg Notes”
  • Alexandra Tomilina, Actress, Russia

    “To work and live in Melikhovo where inspiration just floats above you! The strong feeling of the spirit of Anton Chekhov is near you while you are working on Nina’s character in Melnikovo’s garden. Rehearsing “The Seagull” in that place where it was written – it’s just incredible.”

    Alexandra Tomilina, Actress, Russia
  • Yana Rusinova, Actress, Russia

    “An unforgettable experience, amazing discoveries, vivid emotions, and such new sensations. I am grateful for each and every day I spent in this magical and unforgettable place! I would say more – the world around me has changed! It is true! It is difficult to convey in words … something has been revealed inside of me forever!”

    Yana Rusinova, Actress, Russia
our-partners

OUR PARTNERS

Chekhov International Theatre School is proudly presented under the patronage of the Forum for Theatre Training and Education (FTTE) at the International Theatre Institute (ITI) — World Organization for the Performing Arts / NGO in informal associate relations with UNESCO.

Based on a desire for development and renewal of the performing arts, we also invite interdisciplinary collaboration. As such, the Chekhov International Theatre School’s artistic team is actively collaborating with several national and international performing arts organizations such as ISPA – International Society of the Performing Arts, The Moscow Art Theatre (MATS), The Konstantin Stanislavsky House – Museum, Metodi Festival – TEATRO (Italy), AKT – ZENT International Theatre Center (Germany), The Federation Wallonia - Brussels & International Center of Theatrical Biomechanics of Meyerhold (Italy).

chekhovs-melikhovo

CHEKHOV’S MELIKHOVO (1892–98)

The village of Melikhovo is one of the greatest monuments of Russian culture. Here, from 1892 to 1899, lived and worked the greatest Russian writer, Anton Chekhov. During his stay in Melikhovo, Chekhov wrote more than forty literary works, among them his greatest plays: “The Seagull” and “Uncle Vanya.”

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After helping, both as doctor and as medical administrator, to relieve the disastrous famine of 1891–92, Chekhov bought a country estate in the village of Melikhovo, about 80 km. south of Moscow. This was his main residence for about six years, providing a home for his aging parents, as also for his sister Mariya, who acted as his housekeeper and remained unmarried in order to look after her brother. The Melikhovo period was the most creatively effective of Chekhov’s life so far as short stories were concerned, for it was during these six years that he wrote “The Butterfly,” “Neighbours” (1892), “An Anonymous Story” (1893), “The Black Monk” (1894), “Murder,” and “Ariadne” (1895), among many other masterpieces, among them his greatest plays: “The Seagull”, “Uncle Vanya” and more than forty literary works. Village life now became a leading theme in his work, most notably in “Peasants” (1897). Undistinguished by plot, this short sequence of brilliant sketches created more stir in Russia than any other single work of Chekhov’s, partly owing to his rejection of the convention whereby writers commonly presented the Russian peasantry in sentimentalized and debrutalized form.

 

 

 

 

 

Chayka (The Seagull) is Chekhov’s only dramatic work dating with certainty from the Melikhovo period. First performed in St. Petersburg on Oct. 17, 1896 (O.S.), this four-act drama, misnamed a comedy, was badly received; indeed, it was almost hissed off the stage. Chekhov was greatly distressed and left the auditorium during the second act, having suffered one of the most traumatic experiences of his life and vowing never to write for the stage again. Two years later, however, the play was revived by the newly created Moscow Art Theatre, enjoying considerable success and helping to reestablish Chekhov as a dramatist. The Seagull is a study of the clash between the older and younger generations as it affects two actresses and two writers, some of the details having been suggested by episodes in the lives of Chekhov’s friends. The State Literary and Memorial Museum of Anton Chekhov in Melikhovo has carefully and uniquely preserved the pure memory of the greatest Russian writer, Anton Chekhov.

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