• Jeff Thomakos

My Theatre of the Future

Tonight we christen the Michigan Michael Chekhov Studio with our first official class. It’s an exciting time and I am so excited to truly begin sharing this amazing process with the actors and artists of Michigan. With this in mind, here are my hopes and dreams for Michigan Michael Chekhov Classes for the record. My hope is to look back on this at some point to see if we were able to accomplish what we wanted to accomplish. I am a strong believer in “putting it out there”. I have often felt that when you declare your dreams they become stronger and more tangible and therefore have a much better chance of becoming a reality. So here they are.

By this time next year, I hope to grow our classes to three to five separate classes in the technique. We will have an introductory class, a class focusing on Psychological Gesture, a class on Imagination and Characterization, another class on Listening and Radiation, and a final class on synthesizing all aspects of the technique.

In 2020, I hope to be able to lease or purchase a permanent year-round space. I will then be able to offer classes in Chekhov for the Camera, a young actors’ class, a Shakespeare class, an audition class, and so on. I also hope to offer a Master’s class in the technique which will allow continued study for those already proficient in the technique allowing them to play and grow. I hope to mount small productions at this time that will highlight the work of my students.

In 2021, I hope to launch a professional Michael Chekhov Theatre Company. We will approach our work in a Chekhov way entirely, all speaking the same language, all aspiring to the highest ideals in the craft.

In 2022, I hope our theatre company will offer a full season of shows. We will hire a full-time Technical Director. A full-time managing director. We will begin to offer internships to aspiring young actors.

In 2023, we will have net assets of $1 Million. We will have grants, funding, and a strong reputation in the community as being an exceptional theatre company and school of the highest quality. We will serve as a beacon in the community as showing the very best Michigan has to offer.

I know. These are pretty pie-in-the-sky dreams at this point. To be honest, I have nothing tangible to base these dreams on other than hope and belief in the technique and myself as a teacher and director. For some reason, though, I believe that this is pretty much how it’s going to play out. I may be wrong on the timing. It may take longer than I anticipated, it also could happen far sooner than I think. I guess it all depends on a little luck and a lot of work.

Declaring your dreams to the world is scary. There are so many “what if’s” and doubts and fears and all of that. But this is my truth. This is what I hope will happen, what I want to happen, what can happen. I know that this is something special that our community can really benefit from and with that I open the door.

Here’s to small beginnings.

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