Improvising in the Style of Anton Chekhov
Thursday, 7:00 – 10:00 PM
October 20, 2016
Bayfront Theater, San Francisco
Schedule: 1 session
Class dates: October 20
Class length: 3 hours
Class size: 10 students maximum
Prerequisite: Completed Foundation 3 or above
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov is one of the fathers of modern drama, and had a profound influence on the great playwrights of the 20th century, including Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and David Mamet, and the dialog in Quentin Tarantino’s films closely reflects Chekhov’s style.
His focus on subtext paved the way for Stanislavski’s naturalistic acting style, and only Shakespeare outranks Chekhov in terms of movie adaptations of their work. Even contemporary TV shows like “Downton Abbey” draw heavily from Chekhov’s world and style.
Chekhov’s plays focused on Russian aristocracy as it began to crumble in the late 19th century. Amateurs play Chekhov with a lethargic heaviness, but Chekhov insisted his plays were comedies.
We’ll explore how to improvise Chekhovian scenes – his characters, their world, and his writing style – in the way he insisted they should be player. And we’ll work on how we can expand these skills into improvising contemporary works by the writers who were influence by him.
Recommended viewing/reading before class:
Anton Chekhov’s The Duel (2010)
Three Sisters (1970 – with Anthony Hopkins) – https://www.youtube.com/
The Cherry Orchard (any edition/translation)