The Path Of The Actor  book cover
1st Edition

The Path Of The Actor

ISBN 9780415650724
Published April 23, 2015 by Routledge
256 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements  List of Illustrations  Introduction by Andrei Kirillov   The Path of the Actor  Life and Encounters  Afterword by Bella Merlin  Endnotes  Bibliography  Index

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Andrei Kirillov is a translator, editor and Assistant Chair of the Theatre Department at the Russian Institute of the History of Arts, St Petersburg. His specialisms include the theatre systems of Michael Chekhov and Vsevolod Meyerhold. He is the author of numerous published articles in Russia.

Bella Merlin is an actor, writer and Research Fellow at Birmingham University. Publications include Beyond Stanislavsky and With the Rogue’s Company: HENRY IV at the National Theatre.


'An admirable insight into the theatrical mind of one of Russia's less recognized, but most brilliant, exports.'  Jeremy Piper, The Times Higher Education Supplement

'Diligently annotated ... This is not only a significant volume, but a rather charming one' – Plays International

'The Path of the Actor is packed with fascinating information and insights ... This is an easily accessible text for anyone interested in the life and work of Michael Chekhov and edited in a manner that takes account of different levels of readership, from the newcomer onwards.' – Contemporary Theatre Review