The Chekhov Theatre Ensemble will sponsor a week-long intensive in the Michael Chekhov acting technique beginning Oct. 11. The program runs through Oct. 16.
Twenty-five students and five alternates will be chosen by audition/interview which will be held Oct. 1-2 from 1-9 PM at Musical Theatre Works.
The classes, which develop the psychological values of the body, will be taught by master teachers Joanna Merlin (psychological gesture) and Chekhov Theatre Ensemble artistic director, Floyd Rumohr (basic exercises, text application).
"Until now, there does not appear to be a place where actors can go to be trained in movement," Rumohr told Playbill On-Line. "The movement of the body and the expression of the soul are so linked that it's wrong to think of it as a causal relationship. Some people say our method is like approaching acting from the outside in, but that's not accurate, because the idea behind it, I think, is that what's happening to us inside is inexorably linked to what's happening in our soul. It's more like what Da Vinci said, 'The soul desires to dwell with the body because without the members of the body, it can neither act nor feel.' "
The 29-hour program will be conducted at Theatre Row Studios and includes eight hours of work in psychological gesture. Workshops culminate on Oct. 16 with a 12-hour immersion and application of the technique. "The workshops are designed as an introduction to the work of Michael Chekhov for those who might have little to no exposure to his work," Rumohr said. Rumohr also emphasized that the workshops will not be theoretical in nature, but hands-on and experiential.
For those seeking background information on the technique, Michael Chekhov's lectures are available at Lincoln Center library and commercially through Applause Theatre Books (West 71 Street just off Broadway).
Appointments and information on the intensive may be obtained by calling (212) 563-5315 or by visiting http://www.broadway-web.com/cte/.
-- By Murdoch McBride