MICHAEL CHEKOV'S TO THE DIRECTOR AND PLAYWRIGHT by Charles Leonard

MICHAEL CHEKOV'S TO THE DIRECTOR AND PLAYWRIGHT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Charles Leonard, a student and colleague of Michael Chekov who collaborated with him on To the Actor (see p. 733, 1952) has gathered for posthumous presentation Chekhovian material addressed to directors and playwrights. Proceeding from the view that the roles of the two must be interchangeable if they are to co-create (and ""what is a playwright but an actor on paper"" fixes the triumvirate of creative activity), he sounds the note of an inspirational master-teacher as he remarks upon love in the theatre, materialism vs. play material, what a play ought to be, what it must be (no conflict, no play), directorial aspects of improvization, techniques of the great Russian directors (Meyerhold, Vachtangov and Nemirovich-Danchenko as well as Stanislavsky) pinpointed, character structure and motivation, the director-actor interaction, directorial aids such as rehearsal techniques, tempos, the stage pause that refreshes, many-levelled performances. The major section of the book provides an annotated run-through of Gogol's The Revisor (known here as The Inspector General) with the play's pages to the left, directorial data to the right. With frequent references to the earlier To the Actor, reported upon as ""an elevated handbook"", this provides a rounding out of a benign and workable philosophy of theatre for student and professional alike.

Publisher: Harper & Row