Actors often complain that they get typecast and end up playing themselves over and over again. This weekend intensive will look at how actors can transform themselves and create different characters. We will explore the development of character using Centres, Imaginary Bodies, Qualities of Movement, and other foundational tools, as well as improvising from the imagination.
"All true artists bear within themselves a deeply rooted and often unconscious desire for transformation." Michael Chekhov
WHEN: Sat Oct 26 + Sun Oct 27, 10am - 5pm WHERE: Toronto Operetta Studio TEACHERS: Rena Polley, Lionel Walsh COST: $100 Equity Members/ $120 non Equity
"The weekend workshop I took on the Michael Chekhov technique was a deliciously explosive shot in the arm. As a mid-career actor and acting instructor I was intrigued and inspired by Michael Chekhov's psycho-physical approach to character. Rena, Lionel and Peggy created a relaxed, nurturing environment, communicating the abstract concepts of the technique so intuitively that I immediately signed up for more workshops. This is very fun and very important to actors at all levels of their career." Maria Ricossa, actor and teacher
“That was a very inspiring weekend. I feel more alive now, personally and as an actor. Rena, Lionel and Peggy are the kind of people who give teachers a good name. Well done.” Bill MacDonald, actor
“As an actor and director, I first came to a Chekhov workshop because I was curious to explore my craft from a new perspective. What I discovered is that the very physical approach of the work, and the exploration of character, action and relationship through gesture and movement, kept me out of my head and in my body, teased my creative juices and energized my art. As a Designated Linklater Voice Teacher (DLT), I was delighted to also discover the many parallels between the psycho-physical nature of the Linklater technique and that of Michael Chekhov. My work as an actor and director, as well as a voice and acting coach, will be richer and more focused going forward.” Heather Dick, actor, director, designated Linklater Voice Teacher, Artistic Director of the Sirius Theatrical Company
"I took the workshop because I had forgotten how to 'play' as an actress. I felt restricted in my brain and in my body. As soon as I was encouraged to STEP IN to the circle of imagination and art, I chose to stop the judgement and just explore. Like a child learning to crawl, then walk, then run, I was given the building blocks to get back to my joyful, deep, dark, and expressive self. I found the instructors to be clear, precise and encouraging to all the participants-to play-whatever the task ." Janet-Laine Green, actor
"I have attended many workshops with Rena, Peggy and Lionel over the last few years and have found each one invaluable in terms of deepening my understanding of Michael Chekhov and his work. They are all compassionate, dedicated and knowledgable instructors. Rena, Lionel and Peggy are excellent at creating an environment that feels, fun, safe and challenging. The workshops have helped me to be a better teacher to my students and have expanded my connection to the work as an artist. I highly recommend this work and these masterful teachers!" Laura Nienhuis, Head of Dramatic Arts Earl Haig Secondary School/ Claude Watson Arts program.
"I am delighted to be able to continue my study and discovery of the Michael Chekhov technique. This technique is crying out to be discovered and implemented in productions all across Canada as it speaks to a universal understanding of how we behave, human instinct, body language and sharing not only with words but with our whole being.The workshops we have been lucky enough to participate in are becoming increasingly illuminating and challenging. It is like learning a whole new language or discovering how woefully small our vocabulary is, how much more there is to say and finding the way of expressing it with every God given tool we have. As actors we want to be able to communicate fully so that the audience has a collective and visceral experience with the play." Lynne Griffin, actor
"As an experienced actor, director, and coach, workshops in the Michael Chekhov technique have provided me with valuable new tools and exercises both in the exploration and deeper realization of a particular role and also have jazzed my ongoing interest in keeping my personal practice alive and fresh. The technique encourages the artist to get out of the brain and into a more physical, visceral understanding of character. It's a great addition to whatever is working for you already and has tremendous potential to unblock some of the sticky bits we all experience as artists." Patricia Vanstone, Artistic Director, Foster Festival
"Best. Workshops. Ever. I've been taking workshops with Michael Chekhov Canada for about four years now. I always walk away from the workshop with new tools and discoveries I can immediately use in my work as an actor and teacher. Rena, Lionel and Peggy are passionate, generous and inspiring teachers. They create an atmosphere in the room that opens you up to the creative possibilities within you. Working through the body in these workshops, from wherever I'm at, ignites my imagination and reminds me how effortless and joyful acting can be!" Melinda Little, Actor, Laban Movement Teacher