Master Class: Teaching Acting with the Chekhov Technique
Recorded On: 07/21/2020
In this webinar, Jeff Kaplan presents foundational ideas in Chekhov technique. The nephew of playwright Anton Chekhov, Michael Chekhov (1891-1955) developed a body-based approach for linking imagination to action that is enjoying a resurgence in professional theater training. This course provides practical instruction on key exercises for lesson plans, with adaptations for student age groups and demonstrations of the technique in action for online learning.
Assistant Professor, Dance & Theatre, Manhattanville College
Jeff Kaplan is an Assistant Professor in Dance & Theatre at Manhattanville College, in the New York City area. He holds a PhD in Theater and Performance Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park, in addition to an MFA in Dance from Texas Woman’s University. His performance career includes a body of solo “text and movement” work in which he speaks and dances simultaneously. Evening-length creations include The Erl King, where Kaplan plays the ghost of a World War I German cavalry officer who enters the world of Goethe’s classic ghost poem Der Erlkönig; K.Lear, a solo rendition of Act III (the “storm scene”) of Shakespeare’s King Lear, in which Kaplan plays all the characters in the act as voices in his head, while dancing in a straightjacket; and Beowulf is min Nama…, where he recites the third section of the Beowulf epic (Beowulf’s encounter with the dragon) in West Anglo-Saxon, while dancing. His book, Involuntary Motion: The Somatics of Refugee Performance (Routledge, forthcoming Fall 2020), interprets refugees as bodies in motion, and so uses dance a lens to interpret problems in refugee performance. His current book projects include Protean Act: Dorothy Sands and the Performance of Theater History, which features Dorothy Sands (1893-1980), a Depression-era actress who performed one-woman shows in which she impersonated stars of the past, working in the styles in which they would have performed; and Critical Lenses, which focuses on photojournalists who cover the refugee crisis.