Chekhov Studio Chicago


The Art of the Actor

Training in Michael Chekhov Acting Technique

“The beauty of his approach is that he offers a direct route to the actor’s creativity by the simplest means.” Simon Callow in his forward to Chekhov’s book, To The Actor.

We are Chicago’s resource for the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique. Our Weekend Workshops and classes in Chicago offer film/theatre actors, singers, and theatre teachers training in the Chekhov Technique.

Chekhov Studio Chicago’s students often choose to participate in international Michael Chekhov Association (MICHA) events. Our training workshops and projects complement and augment training done through MICHA. Each workshop is specially designed for the experience and needs of new and continuing students.

The Michael Chekhov Acting Technique allows us to move and be moved by the imagination. Exploring the essential elements of the art of the actor and character, we find ever new goals for our acting as we discover more of our expressive selves.

Weekly classes are held continuously throughout the year and Introduction to Chekhov Technique Weekend Intensives or Weekend Intensives on different aspects of applying the technique are scheduled monthly.

Our workshops are taught by Dawn Arnold, certified Chekhov Teacher, Michael Chekhov Association (MICHA) Faculty, assisted by members of our Studio who also are studying with MICHA.

Workshop venue: 2135 W. Wilson, Chicago, IL 60625   Directions



New! Spring Tuesday Evening  Six Week Class

Michael Chekhov Acting Technique Training -Exploring Your Character Types

Tuesday evenings, April 29 – June 3, 2014 7-9:30 PM

The next Six Week class introduces actors to the Chekhov Technique with a concentration on exploring character types.

The most important thing an actor does is develop characters. Whether working in the subtle genre of film or the more expansive genres of theatre, actors tell the story through their dynamic and inwardly supported characterizations. This workshop will explore the creative means for characterization found in the Chekhov Technique.

“Every true artist, and especially talented actors, bear within themselves deeply rooted and often unconscious desire for transformation. Speaking our theatrical language, desire for characterization. We must distinguish between different types of people or characters on the stage and different characters within these types.” Michael Chekhov

In this workshop we will explore a whole range of character types and learn Chekhov’s techniques for inhabiting them truthfully, including archetypes, character centers, and imaginary body. Each actor will explore a number of different types that suit them and then develop them, creating their own portfolio of possibilities. The Chekhov Technique works with the imagination and improvisation, a playful process to arrive at characters known inwardly. No longer do we have to be stuck in the limitations of playing our ordinary selves. Actors can go far and beyond the “obvious choice” and feel spontaneous, original, and true.

No previous experience with the Chekhov Technique is requisite for this workshop.

Class fee: $240 / $180 for Studio Members*

See below for Studio Membership and registration information.

Weekend Intensive Workshop

Introduction to the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique 

May 9 & 10, 2014

Friday 7-10 PM and Saturday 10-4 with lunch break  - eight hours of concentrated playing!

Weekend Intensive Workshops are a two day immersion in an atmosphere focused on artistic creativity and development. Our weekend workshops train actors, theatre teachers and directors in the method of the Chekhov Technique. Participants work in an active, very focused way.

“You have to teach yourself to act but Michael Chekhov will give you the necessary tools – and for me, Psychological Gesture and Centers are extremely valuable They work like a charm. I’ve used them all along and still do.” – Clint Eastwood

This Weekend Workshop is a good way to begin your study of the Chekhov Technique as we explore essential concepts covered in Michael Chekhov’s book, To The Actor. Most students find that studying in our workshops make this book very accessible.

In this Intensive we will prepare your ‘actor’s body’ and work with the gem of the technique; the ‘Psychological Gesture’. This is the dynamic secret that ignites the inner life of your scenes. Find out how to use this technique for Theatre or Film. This workshop also includes an overview of other essentials of the technique that bring out your vital energies and imaginative characters. We will look at how these tools that work so well for developing characters can give you a more confident presence for auditions and interviews. If you decide to continue training in the Chekhov Technique, this workshop will be a solid foundation for further study.

Workshop fee: $125/ $90 for Studio Members*


Weekend Intensive Workshop

Red Shoes Solo Show Project

May 23 & 24, 2014

Friday 7-10 PM Saturday 9:30-3:30 PM  (Note adjusted time)


Who gave you the Red Shoes? Who launched you into your life in art? The Red Shoes Solo Show Project began this year for actors who love working with the Chekhov Technique and want to take the artistic tools of the technique into creative directions. In The Red Shoes Solo Show Project actors are building solo shows based on their own experiences of being in the arts – told in the style of a fairy tale. In each workshop, we work together as an ensemble to get going, break out into solo work, then come together to show what we are discovering and offer feedback.

Interested actors are invited to join us to begin building a solo show and develop it in any of the Weekend Intensives devoted to this project, such as this one. We will have several workshops throughout the summer and into next year.

Note: This workshop is designed for actors who have been regularly training in Chekhov Technique or have completed a course in Chekhov Training.

Workshop fee: $125/ $90 for Studio Members*


More info about this project is being regularly posted on
There is also an short article on



Summer Performance Intensive

Adapting and Rehearsing with Chekhov Technique

June 17 – 21, 2014

TuesdaySaturday 10-4 PM with a lunch break      

Performance Saturday evening at 7 PM

Anton Chekhov

Anton Chekhov

A five day professional development intensive for actors, directors, and theatre teachers combining training in the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique with application. In this workshop we will explore Michael Chekhov’s Technique as an inspiring, practical, creative rehearsal process. Chekhov speaks of his technique as a door for our process:

“It is a big, big door through which we can enter and take everything, and turn them into things which we can act.” 

(From Michael Chekhov’s archived notes transcribed by Deirdre Hurst duPrey)

This summer we enter the world of Anton Chekhov through his short stories. We will take several of his stories and with the imaginative tools of the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique, create and rehearse an original adaptation with our workshop ensemble. On the final day of the workshop we will perform in a Studio presentation for an audience.

In the adaptation of short stories we look at the ‘feeling of the whole’ through the lens of Chekhov’s narration, then go in-depth with characterization leading to scene development.

Each participant is invited to prepare for this workshop by being familiar with Anton Chekhov’s stories and plays. Many of Anton Chekhov’s stories are available online: Chekhov Stories Online. Which stories we use will be determined by the makeup of the participants and you are invited to share your favorites once registered for the intensive.

Workshop rehearsals are scheduled from 10am-4pm each day, with time in the morning and evening for participants to work on lines, develop characters, and experience all that Chicago has to offer.

The workshop is lead by Dawn Arnold, Artistic Director of Moving Dock Theatre Company and Michael Chekhov Technique Teacher who has directed The Moving Dock Theatre Company’s many adaptations from literary sources.

Note: Some previous training in Chekhov Technique is required for this workshop.

Participant Fee: $395/ $295 Studio Members   $50 non-refundable deposit with registration to save your space.

10% discount for registration and full payment by June 1.

Questions? Ready to register?

CPDU Credit for Illinois teachers is available through our partnership with the Illinois Theatre Association.


Get your materials together with Acting Coach Dawn Arnold prior to the start of the classes. Choose and cut the piece, analyze the play and gather ideas about the character so that you are ready to dive in a explore in class.

In person or via Skype or Google+. More info click here.


*New! Chekhov Studio Chicago Membership

Dedicate yourself to your professional development and support the Studio that makes these opportunities available to you all at the same time with a Chekhov Studio Chicago Membership. Our weekend workshops, classes, and our drop-in option for continuing students of the Studio make it easy to work on your craft before, during, and after film and theatre productions. Buy a Member Class Card for one year and enjoy discounted workshop fees for every workshop you take.




1) E-mail us with any questions you may have at

2) Fill out and return this WORKSHOP REGISTRATION FORM 2012-13

3) Pay fee. You may pay the entire fee (check or money order made out to The Moving Dock Theatre Company) via mail to our address on the registration form or pay online via PayPal. Or pay $35 (or special deposit as specified in the workshop information) non-refundable deposit to hold your place and bring the remainder to the first day of the workshop. Please add $3 for online payments. Pay Plans for Classes are made by individual agreement. Please contact the Studio. Drop Policy: If you need to drop the class prior to the beginning of the class (with 48 hours notice) the tuition minus the non-refundable deposit will be refunded. After the class has begun, the non-refundable deposit and your paid tuition will remain on account with the Studio for one year and carry over to any other class or workshop you wish to take.


Bring Chekhov Studio Chicago’s Workshops to you

Have you seen our workshops on the Arts and Education Exchange? Our Art of the Actor workshops in the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique and creative process are available to schools (high school, college, university) and theatre companies through our Guest Workshops and Residencies.


Visit us on Google+  Moving Dock Theatre Company / Chekhov Studio Chicago