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As the world’s longest running program of its kind, the National Michael Chekhov Association is now in its fourth decade. In 1994, NMCA began offering the first Teacher Certification Track since Mr. Chekhov himself certified six teachers in 1939 in Ridgefield, CT. The organization was co-founded by Chekhov Estate Executrix, personal friend and student of Mr. Chekhov, the late Mala Powers, and her colleagues Lisa Dalton and Wil Kilroy, who worked together since 1989. In 1993, at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, they delivered an 8-hour workshop, the first known practice-based experience introducing Michael Chekhov to an academic conference.

Dalton and Kilroy are currently the certifying master teachers. Same as Ms. Powers did, Dalton and Kilroy continue to perform on stage and screen, practicing what they teach and continuing to evolve the work. The NMCA’s pedagogy reflects the wisdom only a continuously performing teaching artist can garner. Kilroy and Dalton are published authors and contributors to various academic books and online resources and speak and teach around the world. Jointly, Kilroy and Dalton trained with more than one dozen direct students of Mr. Chekhov, discovering multiple interpretations of the work as it evolved over Chekhov’s teaching career. Additionally, Dalton is a noted historian of Chekhov, creating multiple documentaries and collecting the world’s largest video archive on the subject. Each participant of the NMCA Certified Teacher Track benefits from the vast anecdotal and documented resources, being three steps away from the source.

The NMCA Certified Teacher Program began at the University of Southern Maine in 1994, under the leadership of Professor Kilroy, attaining accreditation as a graduate level course. While various Chekhov certificates of completion developed elsewhere, in the 2000’s, the Masters-level rigor required to receive an NMCA Certified Teacher award is unparalleled. It cannot be earned without exceptional demonstration of capability to disseminate the uniquely crafted NMCA pedagogy.

NMCA delivers the most comprehensive course available with applications for acting, directing, design, writing, film and audition techniques plus detail script structural analysis. It also prioritizes the mental, physical and emotional health of the teaching artists and their participants, with a vital accessibility for diversity, equity and inclusion. Another distinguishing aspect is how the structure of the pedagogy teaches both the Chekhov technique itself with vast applications and specific strategies for the art of teaching, providing syllabus support, rubrics, student handouts and tests.

Post-certification, recipients are supported with mentorship as needed, online membership with monthly continuing education, workout opportunities, and networking plus access to proprietary digital resources. NMCA alumni regularly present at academic conferences and are represented by teachers in US, Canada, Mexico, Israel, UK, India, Korea, Slovakia, Finland, Belgium, Australia and Nepal.

NMCA issues only one to two certificates annually. To earn an NMCA Certified Teacher Award is an act of deep, transformational commitment to becoming the best you can be. It means you have:
• Participated in at least 150 hours of live, in-person class, over two sessions.
• Delivered an average of approximately 250-pages of original session documentation.
• Successfully delivered a Capstone presentation with:
• an average of 20-hours of video documentation,
• summary video/slide documentary, and
• 125 pages of documentation.
• Demonstrated the compassion, artistic sensibility, ease, and confidence to cultivate joyful creativity in everyone you influence.