Chekhov Check-In of Chicago

“This longing for knowledge makes the real artist brave.”  Michael Chekhov

Chekhov's books

What is a Chekhov Check In?

A free event scheduled once a month to support the community of actors and theatre/film artists in the Chicago area who are interested in the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique. These events are organized by and for the participants, encouraging the impulses of creativity and artistic investigation. The Check-Ins supplement the ongoing training options of Chekhov Studio Chicago and welcome all who are interested.

Mark Your Calendar

Our next Chekhov Check-In:

Sunday, March 15, 2020  2:30-4:30PM

Venue: Chekhov Studio Chicago
@ Christian Community Church
2135 W Wilson Chicago, Il 60625


This event is free but it would be nice to know how many are coming so please RSVP 


Focus for our March Check-In -

Chekhov Meets Musical Theatre

Lead by Company Members Matthew Ellenwood and Jaina Alexander with special guest Paul Christman.

We are so excited to announce that our March Chekhov Check-in will be facilitated by a VERY special guest, friend, and colleague Paul Christman with company members Matthew Ellenwood and Jaina Alexander. We will be exploring using Chekhov with our singing voices! This Check-in is open to everyone even if you don’t think you are a “singer”.

Paul will be leading us in an exploration he uses with his students at Oklahoma University which combines directions, archetypal gesture, and vocalises. Matthew will be leading us to explore articulation through our four qualities of movement. After our explorations, all three facilitators will be team coaching pieces presented by the participants. So, if you are called to present, please bring a piece to offer! We will be using what we previously explored as well as a technique called “Trading Phrases” that Paul uses with his students to create a whole scene for your song!



Paul 054 (1)

Paul Christman guest teaches annually for the Balletakademien (Göteborg, Sweden)and the Musikkteaterhøyskolen (Oslo, Norway). His additional residencies have included the Danish Academy of Musical Theatre, the Joop van den Ende Academy (Germany), and the Stage School (Germany). He has lectured at the Music in Gotham AmericanMusical Theater Conference (NYC), the Song, Stage andScreen Conference (Winchester and London), the Musical Theatre Educators Alliance Conference (Orlando and NYC) and Putting It Together: Teaching Musical Theatre in U.K. Higher Education (Bath). A graduate of Arizona State University (Tempe) and Wright State University (Dayton), he has also completed training with the Michael Chekhov Association. His articles on the musical Pal Joey and composer Hugh Martin have been published in the journal Studies in Musical Theatre. He is co-editor of The Songs of Hugh Martin:From Broadway to Hollywood and The West End (Hal Leonard). Paul has worked on shows across the United States from Maine to California, toured in Germany with Hair, and music directed the Toronto premiere of A Class Act. He conducted 24 productions for Music Theatre of Wichita from 1994-2004 and has served on the musical theatre faculty at OU since 1999.


Matthew EllenwoodMatthew Ellenwood is a voice teacher, artistic director, musical director, and actor. He is an active member of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and has served on the Chicago NATS chapter’s board of directors. He is also a member of VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association), MTEA (Musical Theatre Educators Alliance), ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers), and the Chicago Cabaret Professionals. Since 1995, he has maintained an independent voice studio on the North side of Chicago focusing upon vocal technique paired with holistic and integrative coaching. His students are regular performers in all of Chicago’s musical theatre houses. In addition to his private studio, Matthew is a freelance vocal and musical director, pianist/conductor, and has served many professional artists and companies nationwide. As a lecturer, he has presented voice and musical theater workshops for universities, professional theatre companies, and the NATS community. Matthew is a co-founder and the Artistic Director of Terra Mysterium performance troupe, where he happily composes all of the company’s music. Matthew studied Michael Chekhov Acting Technique at Chekhov Studio Chicago. He is currently working towards full teacher certification in Estill Voice Training, Alba Method, and Michael Chekhov Acting Technique (through the Michael Chekhov Association, MICHA). He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Masters of Music degree in vocal performance and pedagogy from Northwestern University.






How To Get Involved

by Jaina Alexander

These Chekhov Check-ins are for the community so we are looking for content suggestions from YOU! As a guideline for suggestions, we will be using the idea of Lectures, Inquiries, Performance, L.I.P.

L: Lectures – I would like to present a lecture or discussion to the group.Lectures can be presented on any subject related to Chekhov. It can be either an educational presentation or as a means to jump off into discussion.

I: Inquiries – I have a question or challenge that I would like to explore with the group.Questions or challenges can either be presented to discuss or to work through with play. Or both!

P: Performance – I have a performance that I would like to share with the group.Performances in any stage are welcome! Please be prepared to receive feedback via the Critical Response Process (CRP) created by Liz Lerman. You will be provided with the steps for this process well before the Check-in in order to prepare.

If you are unsure if you should offer a L.I.P. to the group we encourage you to go for it– Do it before you feel ready to. We are all here to support you!