Secrets of Chehkov

Bruce Katzman has been teaching the plays of Anton Chekhov for over 30 years. Mentored by Earle Gister of the Yale School of Drama, Bruce’s approach provides exciting insight into the complex subtleties that drive Chekhov’s characters and their relationships.

“Each time I work with Bruce I’m struck with a bolt of inspiration. His deep understanding of Chekhov, the history of the  plays, and the specificity of the characters are like no other.”

– Chris Messina


A continuing series of online Master Classes focused on the Major Plays of Anton Chekhov. Each session will last 60-90 minutes, during which I will work with a pair of professional actors on scenes they have prepared. You are welcome to attend individual webinars or the entire series. A short period of questions and answers from attendees will close out each class.


Bruce Katzman’s bio and testimonials to his work are found here


Diving more deeply into the plays than perhaps you are accustomed to, your skills at Script Analysis and Character Breakdown will be greatly advanced, turning what might seem like dead and boring text into lively, delightful, and often funny human interactions that are reflections of how we behave in real life.

The techniques practiced here were the foundation of acting training taught at the Yale School of Drama for nearly 20 years under the leadership of Lloyd Richards and Earle Gister. Actors trained in this methodology include: Paul Giamatti, Tony Shalhoub, Kate Burton, Laila Robins, Patricia Clarkson, Frances McDormand, John Turturro, Courtney B. Vance and Angela Bassett, to name but a few.


FOR ACTORS: not only will you be able to more effectively work on Chekhov’s plays, but your ability to use these exploratory techniques will enhance your work across all platforms, and help you to create richer, more specific characters on stage and in film and TV.

FOR DIRECTORS: You will learn how to more deeply penetrate the surface of a play and discover hidden complexities in the world of the playwright.

FOR WRITERS: Anton Chekhov is widely regarded as one of the great playwrights of all time. His four “major plays” revolutionized the western theatre and continue to influence writers today. Find out how and why he was regarded as a Master.            

FOR THEATRE LOVERS AT LARGE: Have an inside look behind the actors’ work! Discover the joys of Chekhov through the eyes and through the work of theatre professionals.


Beginning Jan. 14, each session is scheduled to last 60-90 minutes. The calendar is as follows (subject to change):

Week 1Jan. 14The Seagull- Arkadina and Treplev, Act. 3  (“the Bandage scene”)
Week 2Jan. 21Unavailable
Week 3Jan. 28Uncle Vanya- Sonya and Yelena, end of Act 2
Week 4Feb. 4Uncle Vanya- Yelena and Astrov, Act 4 (the Goodbye scene)
Week 5Feb. 11The Three Sisters -Masha and Vershinin, Act 2
Week 6Feb. 18The Three Sisters – Tuzenbach and Irina, Act 4
Week 7Feb. 25The Cherry Orchard – Anya and Trofimov, Act 2
Week 8Mar. 4Ivanov- Anna Petrovna & Ivanov, Act 3
Week 9Mar. 11Uncle Vanya- Sonya and Astrov, Act 2
Week 10Mar. 18Uncle Vanya- Sony and Yelena, Act 3
Week 11Mar. 25Three Sisters- Andre and Natasha, Act 2
Week 12Apr. 1Three Sisters- Olga and Masha and Irina, Act 3
Week 13Apr. 8The Cherry Orchard- Anya and Varya, Act 1
Week 14Apr. 15The Cherry Orchard- Trofimov and Lopakhin, Act 4
Week 15Apr. 22The Seagull- Arkadina and Trigorin, Act 3


  • Attendees pay $25 per session (a la carte).
  • A package of four sessions (any combination) is $85.
  • A package of eight sessions is $160.

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