the chekhov collective 


"The Actor is the Theatre"  Michael Chekhov.


The Chekhov Collective was formed in 2013 by a group of professional actors wanting to explore classic plays, putting the actor and the ensemble at the center of the creative process. Inspired by the acting techniques of Michael Chekhov and under the artistic leadership of Rena Polley, the collective has presented two plays by Anton Chekhov, The Seagull and

The Cherry Orchard; a play based on the letters of Anton Chekhov and Olga Knipper, I Take Your Hand in Mine ...;  and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. They performed I Take Your Hand in Mine...  at Washington's Capital Arts Workshop in December 2019 to rave reviews. They have also started Page-to-Stage Theatrical Readings of Chekhov's short stories;The Lady with a Little Dog and most recentlyThe Grasshopper in February 2020. 


Education Outreach


The Chekhov Collective is dedicated to the teachings of Michael Chekhov under the umbrella of Michael Chekhov Canada. 


Michael Chekhov Canada was founded by Rena Polley and Lionel Walsh and now includes teacher Peggy Coffey. They have all studied with master teacher Joanna Merlin, the last living student of Michael Chekhov and received their certificate of training from the Michael Chekhov Association. Acting workshops are held in Toronto throughout the year and every summer they offer a 4 day Summer Intensive.

Michael Chekhov

Michael Chekhov was the nephew of Anton Chekhov and considered Russia's greatest actor. He developed his acting technique from his early years with Stanislavsky and his tireless search for an alternative to the over analytical approach to acting. Chekhov noticed actors were loosing their most valuable tool - the ability to transform themselves through their imagination. Actors contain within themselves infinite possibilities and Chekhov’s technique encourages the actor to listen and act upon their own imagination and creative individuality. 

For information on the Michael Chekhov technique, visit


The Chekhov Collective is a member of The Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts.