Name of Bird is a theatre company and acting studio in New York City. Inspired by Michael Chekhov, we are actor-centered, process-oriented and ensemble-based. Our actors, designers and playwrights discover the story through a technique that is full bodied - out loud and on our feet. We believe that our psycho-physical technique is beneficial to the artist and the person and that sharing it with as many people as possible strengthens community. Our mission is to dive into the work experientially, in pursuit of the fantastic and the real.
*for more information on Michael Chekhov, click here.
OUR BOARD OF ADVISORS
MARK MONDAY, Founding Director of The Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium and Author of Directing with the Michael Chekhov Technique
LIONEL WALSH, Founding Director of the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium, Associate Professor at the School of Dramatic Art, University of Windsor and Director of Inspired Acting Lab
STACY A. DONOVAN, Founding Artistic Director of Improbable Stage in New York City
Name of Bird was co-founded in June 2016, when Bevin Bell-Hall and Tim Welsh, friends, acting partners from Kent State and Porthouse Theatre and certified teachers through Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium (GLMCC), began meeting in parks around NYC to play with the Michael Chekhov technique using Nick Payne's Constellations. We immediately found that we were part of a long memory that traced back to Chekhov and beyond and a trajectory forward towards a future theatre. The work became the thing: bigger than any two people - the sustainability and the growing power.
"We are yet but young in deed." - Macbeth, III, iv
In June 2017, we led a workshop at The Pedagogy and Theatre of the
Oppressed (PTO) Conference in Detroit, MI, exploring connections between TO and the technique. Later, we co-founded an Artist in Residence program at GLMCC at Mount Union in Alliance, OH where we devised our first short ensemble piece, Power.
In July 2017, we sent out an e-mail to our studio members to see if any of them would be willing to dedicate a portion of their lives to this great art and craft: the pursuit of the theatre of the future. Together we began to build an ensemble-driven, processed-oriented Macbeth. We began rehearsing in our city's parks again, this time as a much larger presence.
Come October, Name of Bird was flying to Ontario to act as Guest Artists in the School of Dramatic Art and perform Constellations at The University of Windsor.
Fiddler, Porthouse, Directed by Eric van Baars
Midsummer, Kent State, Directed by Mark Monday
Name of Bird with professor Lionel Walsh and Windsor University's Acting Class of 2020
CATHRINE ALBERS, Founding Director of the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium, award winning actress and professor, co-chair of the SAG/AFTRA Conservatory Committee of the Cleveland Council”
"WHAT'S IN A NAME?"
Bevin was in Moscow studying at The Moscow Art Theatre (MXAT) with fellow Name of Bird ensemble member, the inimitable Olivia Hardin, when she went to visit Anton Chekhov's city home. There was no one on staff that day to translate the tour into English, but a lovely young Eastern European woman, the only other party visiting, provided key information. Walking into Chekhov's bedroom, she pointed to his desk and whispered, "This is where he wrote, "Name of Bird," meaning The Seagull, the groundbreaking play and future emblem of The Moscow Art Theatre, The Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium, as well as theatres and studios around the world. We are honored to be part of this global history. And, we strive toward open communication no matter what the barriers, language or otherwise. So, we made our BIRD into Michael Chekhov's 'Open.'