Lisa Dalton

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Lisa Dalton
Lisa Dalton

16 October 1953
Evanston, Illinois
OccupationPresident of the National Michael Chekhov Association (NMCA), Master Teacher of the Michael Chekhov Technique, actor, director, acting coach

Lisa Dalton (Lisa Loving) is an American stage and film actor, director, documentary filmmaker, acting coach, and the co-founder of the National Michael Chekhov Association (NMCA), an accredited training program in the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique currently based out of the University of Southern Maine. Lisa is one of the most ardent proponents of the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique as can be seen in her lifelong dedication to sharing her knowledge about Michael Chekhov and his approach to acting.


Lisa's professional career began in New York as one of the founding members of the Bond Street Theatre.[1] Aside from acting, she also performed stunts while in New York, doubling for popular artists like Madonna and Cher, until she suffered a debilitating back injury in 1989. Notable film acting credits include ER, Carnivale, Inspector Mom, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, and Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon.[2] In 2011, she toured a solo performance of Anton Chekhov's The Darling, adapted and directed by Victor S. Tkachenko's, at the New York Fringe Festival[3][4] after first premiering in Fort Worth, TX at the Pantagleize Theatre.[5]

Michael Chekhov Acting Technique[edit]

During her time in New York Lisa trained with Ted Pugh who led her and a small group of actors in an exploration of the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique. These meetings eventually led to Ted's creation of The Actor’s Ensemble, a New York-based theatre company that still operates today. Under Ted's tutelage, Lisa was exposed to the first generation of Chekhov students through Beatrice Straight's Michael Chekhov Studio. It was during these training sessions that Lisa was introduced to Mala Powers, the Chekhov Estate Executrix.

In the late 1980s Lisa moved to Los Angeles and began teaching the Michael Chekhov Technique with Mala Powers. During this time she studied under Michael Chekhov proteges George Shdanoff and Jack Colvin and met future NMCA co-founder, Wil Kilroy, a professor at University of Southern Maine.

In 1993, Mala Powers, Lisa Dalton, and Wil Kilroy presented workshops on the Michael Chekhov Technique at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE). This experience led the team to establish a formal association that could provide training in the Michael Chekhov Technique.[6][7] In 1994 the National Michael Chekhov Association (NMCA) held its first official summer intensive during the University of Southern Maine's Summer Sessions. The program continued to grow in credibility, leading to its full accreditation from the State of Maine educational system for both Graduate and Undergraduate studies.

Proliferation of the Michael Chekhov Technique[edit]

Lisa has taken the Michael Chekhov Technique to theatre and acting conferences around the globe, teaching in the UK, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, the Caribbean, and around the US at various other Theatre Festivals, professional acting companies and colleges; she has shot and produced several hundred hours of video on the subject of Michael Chekhov, including interviews with some of his famous students and segments from Chekhov classes taught in Russia, Berlin, England, and the US; and her extensive writing on acting has been published in both online and print media.[8]

Conferences and Festivals[edit]

Lisa has taken the technique to the South Eastern Theatre Conference (SETC).[9] She was the Co-chair of the Screen Actors Guild Conservatory Actor’s Evenings at the American Film Institute in Hollywood from 1988-2006, the Central Region workshop leader for the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) for their Professional Actors Training program, 2006-2010, leading sessions in the Chekhov Technique, and is now an elected SAG-AFTRA board member for Dallas/Fort Worth, TX as of 2013.[10] For 4 years she participated as a faculty member and judge for the Donna Reed Festival; 5 years for the International & State Thespian Conference; and 9 years at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Regions 1,4,6,8, at each sharing her knowledge of the Michael Chekhov Technique to participants.[11]

Chekhov Specific Conferences and Workshops[edit]

Lisa was the Creator/Artistic Director of the first two International Michael Chekhov Workshops in the United States at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Connecticut, 1998-1999. She participated as a faculty member at the Michael Chekhov International Workshop (MCIW) in Berlin, Russia, and London, 1992-1995.

Universities, Colleges & Actor Education Programs[edit]

Lisa has taught the Chekhov Technique at acting education centers, such as: the Actors Movement Studio, NYC; Guilford School of Acting, UK; International Theatre Studio, Washington, DC; New York University, NYC; School for Science of Art of Acting, London; Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX; and Teatre de la Inspiracion, Paris.

Documentary Filmmaking[edit]

She is the co-producer of the award winning documentary From Russia to Hollywood,[12][13] and contributed about one third of the footage for Michael Chekhov: The Dartington Years,[14] as well as for the first documentary about Michael Chekhov shown on Russia’s public broadcast channel, RTR-Planeta.


  • Author "Murder Of Talent: How Pop Culture Is Killing "IT" Paperback, ebook (February, 2017) ASIN: 1627470425

ISBN 978-1627470421

  • Author "Falling For The Stars: A Stunt Gal's Tattle Tales" Paperback, ebook (October, 2016) ASIN: 162747403X

ISBN 978-1627474030

  • Foreword to A Balancing Act: The Development of Energize! a Holistic Approach to Acting by Emmanuelle Chaulet
  • Contributed Chapter "Chekhov's Last Gift" to Mikhaïl Tchekhov / Michael Chekhov : De Moscou à Hollywood, du théâtre au cinéma (French) Paperback – 20 Jun 2009 by Marie-Christine Autant-Mathieu
  • Headshotology, A Definition (2004)
  • Headshotology and The Psychological Gesture (2004)
  • Headshotology, The Photographer (2005)
  • Headshotology, The Photo Finish (2005)
  • The Psychological Gesture, Part One (2008)
  • The Psychological Gesture, Part Two (2008)


  1. ^ "A Brief History of the Bond Street Theatre". Bond Street Theatre. Archived from the original on 14 April 2013. Retrieved 26 June 2014.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  2. ^ "The Last Dragon 30th Anniversary Celebration". Urban Action Showcase. Archived from the original on 14 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  3. ^ Donovan. "A. Chekhov's The Darling". Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  4. ^ Congress, Julie. "A. Chekhov's The Darling". New York Theatre Experience, Inc. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  5. ^ Lowry, Mark. "Chekhov show offers strong storytelling". Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  6. ^ "NMCA History". Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  7. ^ Bowles, Charlie; Dalton, Lisa; Kilroy, Wil (2000). Michael Chekhov Technique Playbook (2nd ed.). Fort Worth, TX: NMCA. pp. 9–10.
  8. ^ "The Casting Corner Series: Audition Technique". Chip Taylor Communications. Archived from the original on 24 October 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Masterclass: The Mind Maps of Michael Chekhov". SETC. Retrieved 29 June 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  10. ^ "2013 SAG-AFTRA Dallas-Fort Worth Local Election Results". SAG-AFTRA. Archived from the original on 22 July 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 1 Program, 2009". KCACTV1. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  12. ^ Linden, Sheri. "Review: 'From Russia to Hollywood: The 100-Year Odyssey of Chekhov and Shdanoff'". Variety. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  13. ^ "From Russia to Hollywood: The 100-Year Odyssey of Chekhov and Shdanoff (1999)". New York Times. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
  14. ^ Michael Chekhov: The Dartington Years

External links[edit]