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These books are either by or about Michael Chekhov or provide important information about his influences, resources and collaborators in theater arts. Most are avaiilable at Amazon from the links below each book. Some are also available locally at bookstores and college stores. Some are only available through the NMCA, Inc. store. Click the link below them.


Books by Michael Chekhov


Michael Chekhov
with Mala Powers


In the four decades since its publication, Michael Chekhov's To the Actor became a standard text for students of the theater. However To the Actor is a shortened, heavily modified version of the original manuscript which the deletion of some of the more important concepts.

On the Technique of Acting, which was actually the first book written but the last published, is the first and only book to incorporate the complete text of that brilliant manuscript. Scholars and teachers of Chekhov's technique have hailed On the Technique of Acting as the clearest, most accurate presentation of the principles he taught to Yul Brynner, Gregory Peck, Marilyn Monroe, Anthony Quinn, Beatrice Straight, and Mala Powers, among others.

This new, definitive edition of Chekhov's masterful work clarifies the principles outlined in To the Actor concerning the pivotal role of the imagination in actors' understanding of themselves and the roles they play.

On the Technique of Acting also expands on Chekhov's previously published work with many unique features.
And this is the first introduction to the grand culmination of all Michael Chekhov developed throughout his life. This Chart of Inspired Acting, given personally to Mala Powers as a hand-drawn chart, it shows graphically most of his teachings in one symbol, useful to teachers and learners alike as a quick-reference short-hand overview of the techniques. The workshops and Institutes of NMCA follow this Chart and the Institute teaches all the techniques on this Chart throughout the week.


Michael Chekhov

To the Actor was published 40 years ago after careful redaction by American publishers of concepts considered too risky for the public readership of the time.

These are most of the essential techniques for every actor and Michael Chekhov's classic work To the Actor explains, clearly and concisely, how to develop them. Chekhov's simple and practical method - successfully used by professional actors all over the world - trains the actor's imagination and body to fulfil its potential.
This handbook for actors (and directors) has been revised and expanded by Mala Powers. It includes: a previously unpublished chapter on 'Psychological Gesture', translated into English by the celebrated director Andrei Malaev - Babel; a new biographical overview by Mala Powers; and a foreword by Simon Callow.


Michael Chekhov's to the Director and Playwright

Michael Chekhov

Chekhov describes his teachings on the subject of direction and play structure. In this he discusses his close relationship to the Russian directors of Moscow Art Theater, including Stanislavski, Vakhtangov, Myerhold and Tairov, and provides an in-depth study of his concept of applying atmospheres and rehearsal methods to his seminal production of The Revisor (Inspector General).

This book is a valuable resource for directors who want to know how to structure their productions in ways that will thrill and uplift their audiences, for playwrights who want to create play structure which follows the proven thrilling productions, and for actors who want a clear understanding of why almost all theatrical productions follow well-defined structures. It is also a resource who want to learn about the real relationship between Michael Chekhov and Konstantin Stanislavski, as well as the other great Russian directors.

The Path Of The Actor

Michael Chekhov

This is the first English translation of Michael Chekhov’s two-volume autobiography, combining The Path of the Actor (1927) and extensive extracts from his later volume Life and Encounters.

Full of illuminating anecdotes and insightful observations involving prominent characters from the MAT and the European theatre of the early twentieth century, Chekhov takes us through events in his acting career and personal life, from his childhood in St. Petersburg until his emigration to Latvia and Lithuania in the early 1930s.

Accompanying Chekhov's witty, penetrating, and immensely touching accounts are extensive and authoritative notes compiled by leading Russian Chekhov scholar, Andrei Kirillov. Anglo-Russian trained actor Bella Merlin provides a useful hands-on overview of how the contemporary practitioner might utilise and develop Chekhov's ideas.

Chekhov was arguably one of the greatest actors of the twentieth century. His life made a huge impact on his profession, and his actor-training techniques inspired many a Hollywood legend – including such actors as Anthony Hopkins and Jack Nicholson -while his books outlining his teaching methods and philosophy of acting are still bestsellers today.

The Path of the Actor is an extraordinary document which allows us unprecedented access into the life, times, mind and soul of a truly extraordinary man.

Lessons for the Professional Actor

Michael Chekhov

This volume collects the brilliant lectures which Michael Chekhov presented at his studio in New York in 1941 to a host of local and famous acting students, including Paula Strasberg. His technique and philosophy of acting initially derived from his Moscow Art Theatre work with Stanislavsky.

Under such titles as The Psychological Gesture, The Imagination, Continuous Acting, the Chekhov teaching method of psycho-physical exercises, improvisations, scene study, and Questions and Answers reveals its continued importance for actor training today.

Because of the dialectical teaching methods of this class, and the questions from challenging "professional" students, Chekhov explains some of his more complex concepts in clear ways not seen in some other books. This is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to know Michael Chekhov more or people who just want to understand his methods better.

Michael Chekhov: On Theatre and the Art of Acting:

The Five-Hour Master Class 4 CDs and Booklet

This four CD program covers material not included in either of Chekhov's books, On the Technique of Acting or the new edition of To the Actor. The highlights include: The Art of Characterization; Short Cuts to Role Preparation; How to Awaken Artistic Feelings and Emotions; Avoiding Monotony in Performance; Overcoming Inhibitions and Building Self-Confidence; Psycho-Physical Exercises; and Development of the Ensemble Spirit.

This series of lectures were delivered in tapes from his sick bed shortly before his death to his Hollywood students who gathered regularly at the home of another actor and listened to the tapes and then discussed and performed his improvisations. Mala Powers was the primary vehicle for getting these tapes and delivering them to each class. The series is introduced by Mala to provide context for each lecture.

This product contains the CDs and a booklet with partial transcriptions.

Michael Chekhov


Lessons for Teachers





Buy This Book

MICHAEL CHEKHOV: LESSONS FOR TEACHERS is the result of many years of lecture and lesson transcription Deirdre Hurst du Prey, who was one of the two primary supporters, with Beatrice Straight, in convincing Chekhov to go to Dartington Hall in England and later to Ridgefield, CT.

It was at the beginning of 1936 that Chekhov gave 18 lessons to Beatrice Straight and Deirdre. From the verbatim shorthand notes Deirdre tirelessly compiled and stored come the published book for the first time in the entirety as he delivered them. Chekhov's unique use of rhythm, atmosphere, the actors' ego and his emphasis on creative imagination in the teaching of acting technique, all contribute to make these lessons a valuable addition to the literature on Chekhov already in print. In their simple form, they contain the essence of Michael Chekhov's mode of teaching his technique.

Buy this book while supplies last!

Books About or Integrating Michael Chekhov

by friends of NMCA, Inc.

A Balancing Act:

The Development of Energize! A Holistic Approach to Acting

F. Emmanuelle Chaulet

A Balancing ActGoing beyond where Michael Chekhov left off, this book presents acting as a mind, body and spirit practice and actors as emotional athletes, spiritual stuntmen and stuntwomen exposed to a constant roller coaster of emotions. Emmanuelle Chaulet, international film actress and artists coach, develops her own acting technique ENERGIZE™ using discoveries from holistic and energy healing modalities and breaking new ground in the performing arts field.

Answering an urgent -yet never addressed- need, this book offers invaluable tools to balance life and acting, heal post-performance stress disorder and performance anxiety. You'll find cutting edge information about recovering your Highest Creative Self, the essence of your character, and true emotional balance. Foreword is written by Lisa Dalton, co-founder National Michael Chekhov Association.