Chekhov Training and Performance Ireland

Chekhov Training and Performance Ireland

“The body of an actor must absorb psychological qualities, must be filled and permeated with them so that they will convert it gradually into a sensitive membrane.”

“Cold analytic, materialistic thinking tends to throttle the urge to the imagination.”

TO THE ACTOR. MICHAEL CHEKHOV

The objective of Chekhov Training and Performance Ireland is twofold; first, to promote the Michael Chekhov Acting technique in Ireland through quality training  courses for actors, directors, writers and teaching artists; and secondly the development of performance  projects using the Chekhov technique as the bedrock of the rehearsal process

Who was Michael Chekhov?

index

Michael Chekhov

Michael Chekhov [1891-1955] was one of the most innovative actor/director/teachers of the 20th century. A nephew of the great playwright Anton Chekhov, he acted in the Moscow Arts Theatre with extraordinary success, occasionally coming into conflict with Stanislavski and others that worked there. His journey across Europe and eventually to the United States, where he acted in Hollywood movies [most notably in Hitchcock’s SPELLBOUND], taught and influenced a whole number of famous and less famous actors, is one of both frustration and triumph.

And the Technique?

Chekhov’s great legacy is his technique. His concept of psycho-physical exercises, where the character is discovered though images, and physicalisation of the character’s psychological drives, makes acting absolutely thrilling and magical. It expands the creative boundaries for a person not by working directly from ‘real life’ but from the vast palette of the creative imagination. Whilst this might appear at first glance to be somewhat ethereal, it opens the performer in a real and powerful way. The technique reminds us that the theatre is an art.

 

Max Hafler – resident teacher

6Max Hafler is a highly experienced theatre teacher and director. He trained with the Michael Chekhov Association in the U.S., and has been teaching Chekhov for many years. He teaches the technique at NUI Galway and has taught it in many other colleges, including the Lir. One of his main interests is developing the work for directors, and he has directed several productions with the technique as the bedrock of the process. His book, “Teaching Voice” was published by Nick Hern Books for youth leaders and teachers using Voice and Chekhov Technique, in 2016.

Joanna Merlin , president of the Michael Chekhov Association says

“I was a student of Michael Chekhov’s in the last five years of his life. The atmosphere that he created was one of joyfulness, freedom, enlargement, permission and a belief in every actor’s creative individuality. I feel that Max embraces and radiates that spirit of Michael Chekhov fully and intuitively. Max’s understanding and application of this work is vital to the development of the actor’s creative instrument. “

for information: contact 0(0353) 86 330 7325

or chekhovtpi@gmail.com

website: http://www.chekhovtrainingandperformanceireland.com

2020!!!!!!!

ALL ACTUAL WORKSHOPS HAVE, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COVID 19 LOCKDOWN, BEEN POSTPONED TO A LATER DATE.

In the meantime, we are moving online….

ONLINE TEACHING FOR CHEKHOV TRAINING AND PERFORMANCE IRELAND

Screenshot 2020-06-05 09.03.14

One to One sessions- Let It Begin. (1)

If your connection to the Chekhov technique is fairly new then these 4 / 60 minute sessions will act as something for your understanding and practise. Perhaps you want to reconnect with the work after an absence. Above all we have to remember that Chekhov Technique is an experiential practise so much of our time together will be working on Spy back or Flyback, that is looking back on the experiences you have had when practicing the technique, though we will do SOME exercises in our face to face time together. Clearly we will be restricted somewhat but for now that has to be ok.

You will need to have learned an 8-10 line speech from a play you know well. I would prefer it not to be from a movie.

Session One: Qualities of movement and an introduction to Gesture
Session Two: Working with Imagination
Session Three: Working with Centres
Session Four: Psychological Gesture.

please email chekhovtpi@gmail.com  for information on how to register and book.

 

Screenshot 2020-06-07 10.09.40One to One sessions- Let It Begin. (2) Working with Character (1)

In this block of four weeks, the student will be introduced to the uses of Imaginary Centres, Imaginary Body and Personal Atmosphere working with a specific play in four one hour sessions.

Screenshot 2020-06-11 18.10.32

One to One Sessions – Let it Begin (3) Working with Character (3)

Working with Character Journeys, Personal Atmosphere and Archetypes.

FOR THOSE WITH SOME EXPERIENCE :

Screenshot 2020-06-10 22.38.13The Four Qualities and Psychological Gesture 4/75 min  

Sessions (One per week)

60 waged/ 40 unwaged   7th July

Deepening our understanding through practise. The Four Qualities , floating, flying , radiating and moulding will be explored through practise and be used practically with Psychological Gesture, Geared primarily towards people with more experience because we will work slowly  less experienced people may apply. 4 75 minute sessions. (10 maximum) 2.00 GMT

Screenshot 2020-06-18 06.17.09

THE PICTURE SPEAKS –  5/75 minute sessions 

(75 waged/50 concessions) 6th July

The Feeling of Form is one of the most valuable principles that Chekhov gives us and this project of 5/75 minute sessions will leave each participant with, as Chekhov calls it, ‘a little piece of art’ from a little piece of art. Your seed for this project is a portrait picture from any period of the participant’s choice  (or you can be given one if you prefer). Working with the feeling of form of both the picture and position of the  character, as well as the screen of your computer, the atmosphere of the painting or any other Chekhov tool you wish to use, you create a piece of writing or movement based upon the work you have chosen. If the group wishes, the pieces can then be shared online for a limited period to create a dramatic online gallery. Participants preferred with some Chekhov experience. Tutor : Max Hafler 3.30 GMT

FOCUSSING SESSIONS FOR THOSE ARTISTS WITH SOME CHEKHOV EXPERIENCE (GROUP) 

Each week each participant will undertake to do at least 20 minutes per day practising and focussing on a principle of the Chekhov Technique and keep some notes of their discoveries which we will share in our on-line sessions.  Each session is one hour and a half with a short break for coffee.

These groups will have between 7-10 people in them.
WEEK ONE : The Dramatic Imagination. Developing our imagination for creativity …working with novels , short stories. Chekhov’s image work with fairy stories.

WEEK TWO Concentration on working with object images to create character. ‘Falling in love’ with the object. Working with images. Making the image larger or smaller

WEEK THREE Understanding General Atmosphere more deeply.

WEEK FOUR General Atmosphere. Working with a short poem or song and Polarities

WEEK FIVE  Polarities and application of the work.

email chekhovtpi@gmail.com

 

HOUSE ARREST: Chekhov and Devising

STARTS MAY 14 AT 3PM-4PM GMT FOR FIVE WEEKS

Working solo. Five week online course in Michael Chekhov work. Actors with some experience of Chekhov Technique to engage in this active application of work , focussing particularly on Composition, Atmosphere and Feeling of The Whole. Each actor can choose, devise or write a five minute piece under the title in any style which can be used for developing our technique which they will develop using the Chekhov elements. the course benison the 14th May at 3pm GMT. Prices are 10/8 per session. for more info email chekhovtpi@gmail.com. Tutor Max Hafler began his professional life as an actor, training at LAMDA and working with a whole number of distinguished actors and directors. He is a theatre tutor, director and writer who now specialises primarily in Michael Chekhov Technique and Voice. He trained in Chekhov Technique at MICHA and Michael Chekhov Europe. He teaches at NUI Galway in Ireland, and has guested at Boston MIT, USMaine Gorham, the Lir and others. His book, Teaching Voice, was published by Nick Hern Books in 2016 and his next book on Chekhov Technique and Shakespeare will be published later in the year. He set up Chekhov Training and Performance Ireland to make the West of Ireland a hub for the acting technique. Of his many productions, his most recent professional production was for The Sacrificial Wind , a poem-play by Lorna Shaughnessy about Iphigenia.

 little piece of art’ from a little piece of art. Your seed for this project is a portrait picture from any period of the participant’s choice  (or you can be given one if you prefer). Working with the feeling of form of both the picture and position of the  character, as well as the screen of your computer, the atmosphere of the painting or any other Chekhov tool you wish to use, you create a piece of writing or movement based upon the work you have chosen. If the group wishes, the pieces can then be shared online for a limited period to create a dramatic online gallery. Participants preferred with some Chekhov experience. Tutor : Max Hafler 3.30 GMT

RECENT PAST COURSES

January 10-12,

Brecht and Chekhov Technique : Fear and Misery .Chekhov and Application.

Working in small groups on some of the short plays, this three day workshop will work with atmosphere, gesture, composition and archetypes to explore some of these visceral short plays which chart the rise of Fascism. Some experience of the Chekhov technique is necessary.

150 workshop : 75 deposit.

February 21-23, Chekhov, Voice and Shakespeare soliloquies (Marlowe and the Jacobeans allowed)

Shakespeare’s speeches radiate out to us. Each participant will bring a piece written by Shakespeare, Marlowe or the Jacobeans that they wish to work with. Working viscerally with the body and language and making the voice really organic and connected to the body, the group will explore using Chekhov principles with the voice and how to make a little piece of art with one speech.
100 (if you book for the February and March together, they are 85 each)

AUTUMN 2019

OCTOBER 18 -20

JUST MY IMAGINATION.

Tutor: Max Hafler

IMG_6274

INCORPORATING IMAGES TO CONNECT TO CHARACTERS, DRIVES AND FEELING.

Using images as spurs for psychological experiences or ways of being for the character is a brilliant way to find something deep, quirky and genuine in your work. In order this does not become some kind of actor’s trick, we need to explore the process of training our actor’s mind to concentrate, not in the way we learn in school or college, but in a more holistic and open way. Chekhov says we have to fall in love with images, to invite them in, in order to find the full power of how images can enrich our performances in ways that simply ‘identifying with the character’ can not. In this weekend we will be exploring this use of using imagery, working with scenes and speeches from Caryl Churchill’s Love and Information.

NOV 29- 1 DECEMBER

GOOD VERSUS EVIL: PLAYING KING LEAR.

A WEEKEND LOOKING AT THE GREATEST POLARITY OF ALL.

IMG_6260This weekend we are going to look at the polarities of Good and Evil and how they affect how we play a character. Of course we can say “the audience have to make up their own minds” but to my mind, and to the mind of Michael Chekhov this is perhaps something of an abrogation of responsibility.   As artists we need to have a view and the audience does not need to agree with us. It need not be a simplistic view of heroes and villains; it can be riven with complexity and you can feel these energies moving and working inside you as you inhabit your role. Chekhov uses King Lear to discuss his rules of composition, one of his most important contributions to theatre art and this is the play we will focus in for the weekend.  Chekhov was not asking the actor/artist to moralise or produce stereotypical performance but that we as artists have to consider this polarity of good and evil when we are working on the character, especially when working on a play like Lear. We might say that Cornwall, Regan, Goneril, Oswald and Edmund are on the side of evil, but how do they express it and what do they do and are there any moments in their stage lives where we see the opposite polarity tugging them in a different direction creating a more nuanced playing? How does this polarity affect them, tear them apart? There are a host of possibilities.

 email chekhovtrainperformireland@gmail.com to reserve your place

The Summer School 2019  August 15-18th.

BLOOD ON IRON

APPLYING MICHAEL CHEKHOV TECHNIQUE TO PERFORMANCE  – BUCHNERS WOYZECK

IMG_5196

Chekhov technique is not just for those inspired yet elusive moments. Working on one of the most influential plays of the 20th Century, a raw look at the effects of poverty, alienation and madness, this four-day course run by Max Hafler and guest tutor Declan Drohan, uses the Michael Chekhov technique to open up the play and prepare scenes from it. Before the workshop we will let participants know what Chekhov elements we will be principally exploring so they can prepare for the workshop.  This workshop is for actors, directors and students.

Tutors : Max Hafler with Guest Tutor Declan Drohan

For this workshop I am delighted to have as guest tutor Declan Drohan working with me to create this workshop

Declan Drohan

Declan Drohan ( ChekovLab Ireland) M.A H.Dip.Ad.Ed. lectures on Performing Arts Hons Degree Programme at IT Sligo. Former Course Leader of Acting Programme at Conservatory of Music and Drama DIT Rathmines, Declan trained with Gaiety School Of Acting and Michael Chekov Europe. Recent acting work includes award winning short films ‘ The Date ‘ and Mr L’s Limbo. He is a member of the popular Dark Leaves Theatre Co vintage radio company. His directing credits include Cathleen Ni Houlihan at Lisadell House and the Hawkswell Sligo, and Frank Pig Says Hello and Beneath the Bone Moon at the Dublin Theatre Festival.

The cost is 200€ for four days. (training only)

Email chekhovtrainperformireland@gmail.com or info@chekhovtrainingandperformanceireland.com to book your place

All courses bar the summer school cost 90€ . They run

Friday 7 -9.30 pm

Saturday 10-5 pm

Sunday 10-4 pm.

Enter An Actor – the Architecture of Solo Performance  (Jan 25th-27th)

42422349_2132977360046639_2628492553195880448_n

Declan Drohan Guest Tutor with Max for this workshop

Solo work requires a particular focus and an acknowledgement that in the end you are not alone at all – your partners are the audience and the resonating space where you perform. As a character you are coming from another world to meet Them. At the same time, you as the actor are making a compact with the audience. This compact is in a way at its strongest in solo performance as you fill the stage as someone else, and people the imagination with the other characters in their world – some of whom you might actually play for us, the audience.

Appearing in solo work means no one else is coming on. You are on your own….in a way.

Whether you are appearing in a solo play, working on a play with big monologues, or working on an audition speech where in a sense you have to direct the whole play imaginatively in order to give your piece focus and a sense of the whole, you need to prepare yourself and your energies in a particular way.

This workshop looks, through the exercises of Michael Chekhov Technique at the architecture of performance, the shape of a piece, variety, tempo, silence and radiating receiving with our partner, the audience.

For this workshop I am delighted to have as guest tutor Declan Drohan working with me to create this workshop

Declan Drohan

Declan Drohan ( ChekovLab Ireland) M.A H.Dip.Ad.Ed. lectures on Performing Arts Hons Degree Programme at IT Sligo. Former Course Leader of Acting Programme at Conservatory of Music and Drama DIT Rathmines, Declan trained with Gaiety School Of Acting and Michael Chekov Europe. Recent acting work includes award winning short films ‘ The Date ‘ and Mr L’s Limbo. He is a member of the popular Dark Leaves Theatre Co vintage radio company. His directing credits include Cathleen Ni Houlihan at Lisadell House and the Hawkswell Sligo, and Frank Pig Says Hello and Beneath the Bone Moon at the Dublin Theatre Festival.

 The Epic Voice  (Feb 15-17)

IMG_3559Using atmosphere and treating text like a piece of music we will set about exploring our voices on an epic piece of text to find new and authentic ways of speaking. The character does not need to have our voice. It is not just a question of having an accent.

Mixing regular voice work with focussed experimental Chekhov work, using many of the exercises Max developed in his book Teaching Voice, what we discover will be of use for scripted and devised work. Voice is one of the principal ways we radiate the passion of the character and their voice is not necessarily ours. We must develop and explore it.

 

Character Centre and Imaginary Body (March 29th-31st)

IMG_5226We will be Working with two Chekhov elements together to create character which put the imagination in the spotlight. If the Imaginary body of the character is the vehicle, the character centre is the engine. For this workshop we will be working  with a well known scripted play.

Each weekend has 15 hours training for 90 euro. If you book for two workshops in advance you can have them for 80 each. email chekhovtrainperformireland@gmail.com to book your place.

IMG_4870 

Actors are Magicians ! (May 17- 19)

This workshop, beginning on Friday evening  and finishing on Sunday at 5pm  will focus specifically on fundamental elements of the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique focussing on exercises to explore the spectacular vista of the Imagination through the body! How can it help us create as actors, directors and artists?

We will work with a myth, fairy tale or short story. No experience of the Chekhov technique is necessary but some performance experience is required.

90€ for the weekend email chekhovtrainperformireland@gmail.com

Working with Archetypes – Midsummer Night’s Dream! June 21-23.

For the ‘weekend that’s in it’ , as we say in Ireland, we are going to explore how to enhance our understanding of character through the exploration of archetype using A Midsummer Night’s Dream.. This element of Chekhov technique deepens our understanding, allows us to explore roles, energies and positions in life we feel are beyond our experience; Fairy, Queen, King, Clown, Fool, Master, Servant, Coward, Thief.

We will also be looking at Archetypal atmospheres to see how they too can deepen our understanding and playing of the text.

 IMG_5196

  

IMG_4945

 

 

IMG_4174  

      IMG_2111 copy.JPG 

img_2105

Barry Cullen, Mary Monaghan, Ronan Cassidy, Naia Martz

What do I do if I am an experienced actor, but with no knowledge of Chekhov Technique?

I would suggest you attend the Openers class and make me aware of that fact, because whatever your goal, you need to learn the basic principles of the work. I am hoping to do more courses for professionals in years to come. But just email and we can discuss it.

This is all a while away! How do I stay in touch?

Try emailing chekhovtpi@gmail.com and say you want to be put on the mailing list .