Secrets of Chekhov

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 Master Classes, Webinars and Workshops focused on the Major Plays of Anton Chekhov. LIVE-IN PERSON classes are conducted in Los Angeles and New York City. Workshops may be presented in other cities and/or at Universities, Colleges and Acting Conservatories. Online courses and coaching, via the Zoom platform, are occasionally offered, or by may be scheduled by appointment.

WEBINAR sessions (pre-recorded) last 60-90 minutes, during which a single scene is examined with a single pair of professional actors. Fourteen of Chekhov’s most ‘popular’ scenes are analyzed. The webinars were recorded during the Covid pandemic and are available only by subscription.

CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS, are generally six to eight weeks in length with small numbers of participants. Workshops for colleges and acting schools can be customized to suit the institution’s needs. Contact me.

PRIVATE COACHING is also available at an hourly rate. Contact me.


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


Diving more deeply into the plays than perhaps actors are usually accustomed to, one’s 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.

Scene and character ‘breakdowns,’ as analyzed here, uncover hidden understandings and motivations of Chekhov’s characters. Actions and Objectives are a prime focus.

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.

Secrets of Chekhov. All Rights Reserved.