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Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique

A Practitioner’s Guide

By: Sinéad Rushe
Media of Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique
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Published: 24-01-2019
Format: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 360
ISBN: 9781408156889
Imprint: Methuen Drama
Series: Performance Books
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
RRP: £21.99
Online price: £19.79
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About Michael Chekhov’s Acting Technique

Intended for actors, directors, teachers and researchers, this book offers an exceptionally clear and thorough introduction to the renowned acting technique developed by Michael Chekhov. Sinéad Rushe's book provides a complete overview of the whole method, and includes illuminating explanations of its principles, as well as 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 the ideas that underpin the work, 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.

Drawing on the full range of Chekhov's writing in English and French, this book also examines unpublished material from the Dartington Hall archives and features interviews with actors who have worked with the technique, including Simon Callow and Joanna Merlin.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.
Michael Chekhov's Acting Technique is an accessible, comprehensive and contemporary point of reference for those already trained in the method, as well as an initiation and toolkit for practitioners who are just beginning to discover it.

Table of contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Guiding Principles

A Note on the Context of Chekhov's work

Part One: Preparation

The ideal centre The four brothers: feeling of ease Receiving The four brothers: feeling of form The four brothers: feeling of beauty The four brothers: feeling of entirety Radiating Expansion and contraction

Part Two: Practice

Qualities of movement: moulding, floating, flying, radiating Further qualities of movement: staccato/legato, curved/straight Directions in space Archetypal gesture The three sisters: rising, falling, balancing Image and imagination Improvisation
Transition: Transformation

Part Three: Performance

Imaginary body Imaginary centre Stick/ball/veil Archetypes Psychological gesture Subjective atmosphere Objective atmosphere Extras: ghost exercise, character biography
Conclusion: Theatre of the Future

Chronology of Michael Chekhov's Career

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