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.

The Michael Chekhov Acting Technique allows us to move and be moved by the imagination. Through Chekhov’s principles we develop our acting instrument. Through Chekhov’s effective tools for characterization, we are able to inhabit the characters we play with truth and imaginative freedom. In this exploration of the art of the actor, 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. 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.

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.

Visit also Inside the Chekhov Studio  and Dawn’s blog, Dawn Arnold’s Gestures

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

Scroll down this page for How To Register.

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


Michael Chekhov Acting Technique for Singers

This spring SongShop visited Chekhov Studio Chicago. We had a blast! So we are doing it again. Didn’t get to join us last time? Experience Chekhov Technique for Singers in these two upcoming workshops.

An Introduction to the Chekhov Technique for Singers

August 29, 2014  

Friday 3-6 PM

Working with the Chekhov Technique for Singers

August 30, 2014

Saturday 10-4 with lunch break

Elyse Kakacek

Singer Elyse Kakacek

Chekhov Studio Chicago, Chicago’s resource for training in the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique, welcomes singers this August.  Dawn Arnold, certified master teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique, will lead singers to explore the effective and inspiring tools of the Chekhov Technique and guide them in applying the tools to their songs or arias.

The Chekhov Technique is a world renowned approach that inspires performing artists, giving them effective means to connect to and express the inner life of their roles. The psycho-physical exercises are simple and surprisingly direct in helping singers to create memorable performances.

“…the highest and final aim of every true artist, whatever his particular branch of art, may be defined as the desire to express himself freely and completely.” Michael Chekhov in To The Actor

“What the singer needs is an acting approach that unifies their acting and singing. Chekhov’s approach enables the singer to understand their character and the action of the scene through their body/mind, connecting directly to their singing.” Dawn Arnold

Introduction to the Chekhov Technique

This introduction to the Chekhov Technique will explore the basic concepts of the technique that connect body and mind and support the creative process for the singer working on their roles and material. We will focus on the gem of the technique, the Psychological Gesture and see how to use it to connect to the character and realize the scene inwardly and outwardly. The workshop is active, but all participants can feel comfortable in adapting the work to their physical ability level. It is energizing, liberating, and fun!

Singers new to the Chekhov Technique should take this workshop prior to the Saturday application workshop.

Working with the Chekhov Technique for Singers

Following our spring workshop with SongShop, this workshop is for singers who have had some exposure to the Chekhov Technique. Singers will be guided to apply the Chekhov Technique to their material, exploring how to relate to the music and text through the body/mind to make the vital connections that enable them to feel the synergy in their acting and singing.

After a Chekhov warm-up and preliminary exploration in the morning, we will work one on one. Singers may opt to explore excerpts from their material or work through an entire piece. Singers wanting to work through an entire piece must sign up prior to the workshop so that we can schedule workshop time accordingly. An accompanist will work with us for this workshop. Bring two copies of your music in your right key, one for the accompanist.

Introduction to Chekhov Technique $50

Working with Chekhov Technique $95

Take both Workshops $125

To register for these workshops and to sign up to work through and entire piece, email Chekhov Studio Chicago at

Summer Tuesday Evening Class

July and August Tuesdays 7 -9:30 PM

Tuesday evening drop-in class. Actors must sign-up by contacting the studio via email each week by Sunday evening to attend.

Get into your actor-focused bodies and work on character development and prep materials for auditions or shows. If you have had previous Michael Chekhov Technique training you are welcome to join us.

Fee: $40/ $30 Studio Members


Red Shoes Solo Show Project Workshops

Summer dates TBA

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 (or whatever style unfolds for your material). 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 workshops devoted to this project. We will have several workshops throughout the summer and into next year. Contact us with your interest.

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



Summer Performance Intensive

Adapting and Rehearsing with Chekhov Technique

June 17 – 21, 2014

TuesdaySaturday 10-4 PM with a lunch break      

Workshop Performance Saturday evening at 4 PM* (Note adjusted performance time)

The performance is open to the public and free. No RSVP required. It takes place in the workshop venue.


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, working with the technique on:

- entering the world and atmospheres of Anton Chekhov

- character development

- event and scene development

- composition and rehearsal

Participants will have the evenings to work on their lines and 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.

Questions? Ready to register?



Acting with the Michael Chekhov Technique for the High School Actor

June 23-27, 2014

Monday – Friday 10:30-1:30 PM

Act Truthfully, Transform Imaginatively            

Tim A Back

Discover the advantages of  this approach to acting while diving into your acting craft this summer. Focus of the Intensive will be to

- experience the working process of the technique (which is rooted in movement and improvisation)

- learn tools for developing characters imaginatively

- apply some of these tools to developing a character of your choice. Each actor will be guided to see how to bring this new skill to short scenes and a monologue or a song.

This overview of Chekhov’s Technique will form a good foundation for all styles of acting for theatre and film. The Intensive will be taught by Dawn Arnold.

Parents and interested friends are invited to observe during the last class.

Fee: $250 See below for how to Register.

“I studied the Chekhov Technique in the NY Studio for four years. I am so grateful that here in Chicago I can continue to cultivate this immensely inspiring technique with Dawn Arnold’s mastery and guidance. It works!  B.C. Professional Actress



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