Michael Chekhov's 'Theater of the Future' -- what does it have to do with you?

Michael Chekhov Canada

Christina Bryson - 15 July 2012




Title: Michael Chekhov Canada
Convener: Lionel Walsh
Participants: Lionel Walsh, Cathy Albers, Christina Bryson, Llyandra Jones, Sydney Haslam, Miranda MacDougall, Margaret Evraire, Aein Moradi, Lauren Dobbie, Rena Polley, Deborah Robertson, Suzanne Bennett, Jared Bishop, Deborah Keller, Karine Scialom

• How to create a studio in Canada that not only continues the training of the technique, offer workshops, but also produces their own plays
• Umbrella organization?
→ Example of Newfoundland Co-op (CodCo) – artists can apply for grants under the title of the established umbrella organization
→ CodCo: a name used by anyone who was a member, in order to apply for grants and do a show. Establishes the name, but new members can benefit from the status of the umbrella organization
• Do you start smaller?
• A co-op doesn’t necessarily work the same way as a business
• Rena: Would like to do something like this in Toronto, but keeping it open, bringing in the teachers, maybe not start with a permanent space, but start with an agreement. Where do we start? Build a website: here are the teachers, here’s where we are, what we’re doing, do workshops under our umbrella.
→ Yearly conference?
→ There is already a community in Toronto, we just need to put a voice to it, find ourselves a name and potential spaces
• When everyone gets back (Toronto) – put together a website/contact information
→ Meet at beginning of October, come up with content/structure, members log-in, make a short movie/trailer?,
• Collective is not to make money, minimal honorariums for teachers, but about spreading the word and creating a forum for artists to come together and learn and put into practical use the Chekhov technique
• Suzanne: Interested in on-going practice, beginning a foundation of practice (not necessarily flash workshops)
• Spencer Robson been trying to establish a weekly drop-in in Toronto, we already have a community, let’s merge together
→ The Creations Lab, in Toronto ($20 for two hours)
→ Get together, jam (“The Actor’s Gym/Lab”), drop in $5 – a way to start spreading word
• Rena willing to take ownership of website and workshops, Christina/Margaret/Llyandra willing to take ownership of the space (in collaboration with Spencer), Miranda and Sydney can do whatever they can from Windsor
• Teachers already existing in Canada: Lionel Walsh, Rena Polley, Peggy Coffey (have official certificates) …also, Cynthia Ashburger, Sara Jane, Julie Legalle,
• Labs: Review, experiment, take turns teaching and exploring, how do we practically apply this technique to our work as actors → How is this useful? Keep conversations sparked and alive, spark ideas, spark the creation of events
→ Keep a blog on the website on what we are working on and discovering
• Potential Name: “Chekhov Open Space” (Open Space Studio?)
• Establish a chatroom? Post what will be happening each week, people share offerings,
• Maybe offer session deals, pay for 4 classes, get a “card” (punch every time you go), buy different session packages
→ Pay each time you show up: ex. Come to 4 classes, get the next class free
• Monday Night (?) Tuesday Night?
• Potential Spaces:
→ Suzanne has a friend that runs Fever Graph
→ Creations Lab
→ Red Theatre
→ The Winchester
→ Dance Makers
• Lionel will be in touch with Spencer
• Rena/Llyandra will undertake the website
• Christina/Margaret, point people in Toronto, search for spaces
• Reaching out to students through department heads, asking for student contacts
• Website:
→ Who we are / mandate, etc.
→ Classes and Workshops
→ Bios and Contact
→ Open Space
→ Promotion Forum (“bulletin board” / chatroom)
→ Productions
→ Calendar
• NAME: Michael Chekhov Canada (MCC)
• MISSION: To practice and further the work of Michael Chekhov technique in Canada by sharing, teaching, and producing
→ “Michael Chekhov Canada: Sharing. Teaching. Producing.”
• Get Joanna Merlin to quote/vouch for us, not officially associate with them but give them credit, know that we are trained by MICHA
• 4 or 5 website administrators
→ Workshops/productions need to pass through Lionel, Rena, Llyandra
→ E-mails through the website :
• Free legal advice, taxes, etc. from her aunt
→ Bank account?
→ Do we incorporate? (Then we are bound to paying taxes)
→ Best way to go about creating an artist co-op?
• Float / cashbox – bookkeeping, keep track, self-generating
• Memberships?
→ Mailing list for productions
→ Mailing list for classes/workshops
• Facebook page





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