Everybody Loves Chekhov

An installation based on the work and collaboration between Chekhov and Stanislavsky.

We asked several actors to prepare a Chekhov scene of their choice. No directing advices were given. We treat their take on the text as the first step in the work on the character; in that sense their acting is closer to a rehearsal setup than to a final stage interpretation. We are not assuming that the actors are using the Stanislavsky method, although it is hard to find actors who do not use this or that element of the system in their work.
The origins of Stanislavsky’s system are in naturalism, positivism, even Marxism, photography, Darwin, electricity… Realism became “natural”; the subtext idea promised that we could discover everything within the ordinary. “Everybody loves Chekhov” puts the ‘scientific’ approach to acting into a test. Can acting be measured? Can it be corrected via studies and observations? Can a simple examination of the actor’s work – facial expressions, voice projection, stress and relaxation, to name just a few parameters – can lead us to a better understanding of the actor’s actions and how it can be “corrected”? The answer is “yes”: some simple observations into the actors work can be corrected fairly fast; and the answer is “no”: corrected according to which reality? Further studies will have to be conducted…