MICHA awards Studio Scholarships

Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Boston Chekhov Studios award MICHA scholarships

Annual Award Celebrates Commitment to the Acting Craft


Press Release


NEW YORK, NY (June 2017) MICHA, the not-for-profit association dedicated to attending to actor/director/author Michael Chekhov’s artistic vision and technique, announced the recipients of its coveted Studio Scholarships today.


Selected by leaders of individual studios and programs across the country, the five scholarship recipients represent a range of experiences and backgrounds but share a common commitment to furthering the understanding and work of Chekhov. This year’s awardees include:

  • Joy Elizabeth Clark, Chekhov Studio International, Los Angeles
  • Pia Haddad, Michael Chekhov Acting Studio, New York City
  • Robert Hart, Summer Arts at California State University
  • Ginger Schmidt, Chekhov Studio Chicago
  • Helen Swanson, Michael Chekhov Actors Studio Boston


“Our goal at MICHA is to cultivate and educate the next generation of practitioners as a way to continue the legacy and work of Michael Chekhov,” says Joanna Merlin, Founder and President of the organization. “We’re so pleased to be able to extend scholarships to such a deserving and talented group and look forward to seeing them this summer at the International Workshop.”


The scholarships cover attendance for MICHA’S International Michael Chekhov Workshop, which is taking place from June 23-July 1 at Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut.


Recipients will work with an international faculty comprised of prominent teachers of the Chekhov technique including Joanna Merlin who studied with Chekhov and is the only remaining direct student of his work who is still teaching. Marjolein Baars (Amsterdam) and Jessica Cerullo will lead classes investigating social and civic practices that draw upon Chekhov’s technique in a series of classes titled, The Citizen Artist. Other faculty include Los Angeles based Marjo Riikka Makela, NY based Bethany Caputo, John McManus, Ted Pugh and Fern Sloan and Ulrich Meyer Horsch from Germany.


About the Scholarship Winners:
Joy Clark studies at the Chekhov Studio International in Los Angeles. She loves how free and connected her body is to her imagination with the Chekhov technique. Joy first began exploring theatre as a child and has performed in numerous plays. She earned a BA in Theatre Acting from University of California San Diego. Recently she played the title role in the short Magdalene and has a small role in the newly released indie film, 1 Mile to You.


Pia Haddad is a multilingual Lebanese-American actress and producer. Since graduating from the Atlantic Acting School, she has appeared in award-winning short films, performed in various plays, and created 3K² Productions–a multicultural production company–which produced its first play at HERE Arts Center. She was recently seen in an episode of CBS’ Elementarywww.piahaddad.com


Robert Hart is the recipient of the inaugural ambassador scholarship awarded to a promising university student who MICHA faculty met at California State University’s Summer Arts Program. As the ambassador scholar, Robert will bring his knowledge to a local and underserved community that he feels that Chekhov work might serve.


Helen Swanson is a student at the Michael Chekhov Actors Studio Boston. She began studying with Scott Fielding over five years ago in Chekhov and Meisner techniques and loves the way Chekhov expands her imagination as an actor. She found her love of performing as a violinist. growing up. As a former gymnast and current Feldenkrais trainee, she finds bodywork and its intersection with acting particularly fascinating. Currently, she works as a web developer in the Boston area and plans on continuing her acting journey in graduate school.


Ginger Schmidt is a talented actor, teacher, and creative director who came to Chekhov Studio Chicago last year. She received her MFA from Roosevelt University in Chicago where she first studied with Dawn Arnold and encountered the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique. She participated in Chekhov workshops with Moving Dock Theatre Company before being cast as Dira in Moving Dock Theatre’s ensemble-created Ocean Sea. Some of her other favorite acting credits include B in Three Tall Women and Stella in Streetcar Named Desire at the Bay St. Louis Little Theatre.



MICHA is a not-for-profit Association that celebrates and attends to Michael Chekhov’s artistic vision and legacy. We provide a community for performers, teachers, scholars and directors in the form of workshops and events; we research approaches to teaching that utilize Michael Chekhov’s technique. We publish primary and secondary source materials, have a growing archive, and support individuals engaged in practice as research as it relates to Chekhov’s psycho-physical approach and its many forms of application. The organization is committed to providing opportunities to artists interested in a comprehensive teacher training in the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique. More here: www.michaelchekhov.org


Press contact:

Meryl Cooper meryl@theCOOPERationinc.com, 917-974-0022