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Michael Chekhov

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1891, the nephew of author Anton Chekhov began his acting career as the most brilliant member of the Moscow Arts Theatre, founded by Constantin Stanislavski. In 1928 Michael Chekhov was forced to flee into exile and for over three decades, between Europe and the USA, he continued to tirelessly explore his own psycho-physical approach to the art of acting, a vision he shared with a generation of actors, among them Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck, Marilyn Monroe, Anthony Quinn, Clint Eastwood, Yul Brynner, Lloyd Bridges, Jack Palance, Mala Powers, Beatrice Straight, Joanna Merlin (now president of MICHA - Michael Chekhov Association) and legions of less well-known talents.

According to Chekhov, the actor's work consists in creating an inner event, an experience which occurs in real time within him, and which the audience experiences as an expression relating to the context of the drama. The fruit of this encounter is something living, true, and of the moment.

Unlike that which people mostly associate to Stanislavski's teachings, this event is not linked directly to the actor's personality or personal history, but can be developed using what Chekhov termed the Creative Individuality. Thus, it is possible to bring to the actor's work not only the real, ordinary sides to his experience, but the intangible subconscious, which is where our universal and archetypal images reside.