New Pathways

Michael Chekhov in the Twenty First Century: New Pathways Project

Since 2014 I have been collaborating with Cass Fleming and a wonderful ensemble of artists*, exploring Chekhov Technique for Devised Theatre and Catalyst Direction. Currently we are working with Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince as stimulus, and performances will be shown as part of a series of research praxis symposia in September 2016 (dates and venue to be announced in early 2016).
*Collaborating artists: Thomas Bostock, Sian Clarke, Derek Elwood, Alistair Foylan, Joshua MacLellan, Phoebe Naughton.

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Image: Katerina Kotti

Image: Katerina Kotti

This work is now part of the New Pathways project, a major tri-institutional research project that involves Goldsmiths University of London, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and the professional organisation Michael Chekhov UK (www.michaelchekhov.org.uk).

Since the late 1980s interest in Michael Chekhov’s (1891-1955) Technique has grown rapidly in the UK and has been recognized for its innovation and accessibility. Exploration of Chekhov’s imaginative techniques has primarily been limited to acting and actor training practice in the twentieth century. There have been some useful preliminary explorations of other uses of Chekhov Technique but this now needs to be taken further. This innovative project brings together professional practitioners and scholars from different disciplines to investigate new uses of Chekhov’s techniques both within and beyond the theatre in the twenty first century. The key areas that this project addresses are:

The New Pathways Network will launch in spring 2016 and the project will culminate with a series of Research Events hosted at Goldsmiths in September that will include two Research and Development Performances, a workshop in Chekhov Technique for Non Actors, a series of six Praxis-Symposia Sessions and an Open Space discussion. The outcomes of this project will be discussed in the forthcoming publication Michael Chekhov Technique in the Twenty First Century: New Pathways, Bloomsbury Methuen Drama (2018).

The full research team for this project includes:
Dr Tom Cornford (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London), Graham Dixon (MCUK), Dr Cass Fleming (Goldsmiths, University of London), Sarah Kane (MCUK), Dr Caoimhe McAvinchey (Queen Mary, University of London), Dr Roanna Mitchell (University of Kent), Sinéad Rushe (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London), Martin Sharp (MCUK); Daron Oram (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) and the practitioners involved in the two New Pathways Research and Training Groups.

To join the New Pathways Network please email us: chekhov.new.pathways@gmail.com.

Image: Katerina Kotti

Image: Katerina Kotti

Events:

PRF Dis-Play [24] Goldsmiths College, George Wood Theatre
25 November 2015 – 6.15pm
The Performance Research Forum event at Goldsmiths will introduce the project and share the practice-based research on two strands of the project: Chekhov Technique for Collaborative Writing led by Dr Tom Cornford and playwright Hannah Davies; and Chekhov Technique for Devised Theatre and Catalyst Direction led by Dr Cass Fleming and Associate Director Dr Roanna Mitchell. In addition to showing film footage and stills of the performances of Demons and The Little Prince, five actor-devisors will also attend the event to reflect on their experiences in the project and the experiments that have been undertaken.