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Elizabeth Ann Townsend

Professional Actor

Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 pm
6-week class 
10 Student Limit
Beginning June 13, 2023
(No class July 4)

It’s hard to play emotional scenes take after take in film, and night after night in theater. Learning the Michael Chekhov Technique of “Psychological Gesture” will probably help. Each week, actors will be given exercises and techniques in learning the Michael Chekhov approach.


Though Chekhov originally studied and applied Stanislavski's system to his acting, he did not agree with Stanislavski's use of Affective/Emotional Memory which he found limiting and potentially harmful to the actor. Instead, Chekhov expanded on Stanislavski's theory of the method of physical action. Chekhov discovered that through specific and repeatable physical movements, the Psychological Gesture, the actor could awaken his will or action center. 


The Psychological Gesture is a tool used by the actor to increase one’s desire to act or to do. Chekhov understood the subtle nature of the mind/body connection and how this connection could be accessed through imagination, improvisation, psychological gesture, archetype, ensemble work, and atmosphere. 


Michael Chekhov developed an acting technique, a 'psycho-physical approach', in which transformation, working with impulse, imagination and inner and outer gesture are central. It offers clear and practical tools.


Elizabeth Ann Townsend is a professional actress and educator. She has worked in New York City on stage, television, film, and in regional theatres across the country. Ms. Townsend is a certified Michael Chekhov Technique Instructor via the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium. She has taught the Chekhov Technique at universities across the country and now joins The Actor Factory's roster of instructors to teach this Technique live and in person to you.

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