Ray Caspio

"a shapeshifter of an actor" - Cleveland Plain Dealer

Michael Chekhov Center Cleveland is committed to the art of the actor through explorations of the psycho-physical processes illuminated by Michael Chekhov. Through educational offerings for artists and performances within the community, we explore what it means when the actor is the theatre.


The Michael Chekhov Technique is a holistic, psycho-physical approach to performance that synthesizes the actor's body and psychology. You discover how the magic of your movement, in tandem with your imagination and feeling life, has the ability to enliven the spaces within yourself and the spaces around you. Solo and ensemble explorations in movement, concentration, atmosphere, and gesture increase your flexibility, honesty, joy, and ease as a performing artist. You learn to free your body as a conduit for the soul of your character. Your Creative Individuality is supported and nourished, and your artistic work becomes more inspired.


Ray Caspio creates beautifully grotesque characters whose comedic allure invites you into their queer realities, where they unpack American culture and scrutinize the multifaceted manners in which we relate to each other. His work recognizes the immediacy and impermanence of performance by embracing theatre as a living event. Who is in the room matters. The work becomes as alive as we are: conscious, truthful, and existing in that moment when we all gather to play. Ray is a performance artist, teaching artist, actor, and the Founder and Artistic Director of Michael Chekhov Center Cleveland. He has created pieces spanning theatre, cabaret, installation, web, and personal storytelling; served as performer-creator in numerous devised pieces; and originated over 30 roles. His live work has been performed at Playhouse Square, Dobama Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre, convergence-continuum, Playwrights Local, Talespinner Children’s Theatre, Theater Ninjas (Associate Artistic Director 2012-2015), and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Caspio appeared on Best of Theatre lists for Cleveland Scene Magazine (2014 & 2017) and WCPN/NPR’s The Sound of Applause (2014, for the conception and performance of the immersive cabaret exploration of gender, sexuality, and marriage equality, TingleTangle). In 2014, he was profiled as Scene’s “Thespian”. Ray’s training consists of the Michael Chekhov technique (Michael Chekhov School, Hudson, NY; MICHA: the International Michael Chekhov organization), Bouffon (Giovanni Fusetti), Eccentric Performance (Avner Eisenberg & Julie Goell), the Alba Method, and Improvisation and Comedy Writing (Second City Chicago). Caspio has taught for Playhouse Square, Disney Musicals-in-Schools, Cleveland Play House Theatre Academy, MetroHealth Arts in Medicine, and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Ray received a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship.


MC3 is a safe space for you to explore and work. If you’re interested in any of our class offerings and find yourself in extreme need of financial assistance, please open a discussion by e-mailing Ray (me) at michaelchekhovcenter (at) gmail (dot) com detailing your situation and proposed need, and we’ll find a solution together! I’ve been there. I get it. And I want to make sure this technique is accessible to you. This offer is for LGBTQ-identifying artists only.


Michael Chekhov Technique : Foundation - Oct. 6-Nov. 24
from 95.00

In this eight week, 18 hour offering, you will penetrate the fundamental principles of Michael Chekhov’s psychophysical approach to performance to deepen the sensitivity and imaginative interplay of your body and psychology in the present moment. Improvisational solo and ensemble sessions will cover principles such as creative concentration, imagination, The Four Brothers, Qualities of Movement, Imaginary Centers, Imaginary Body, Atmosphere, Space, Expanding & Contracting, and Psychological Gesture. This foundational offering is an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself to the Chekhov work or deepen your understanding of the work as a practitioner.

“[Ray] really opened up my eyes to what acting is all about, but also, more importantly, how to better interact with others in life. It really had a positive effect on me.”
— Matt B., student
[Ray’s] class provided my actor self with insight into a method I can use to explore and create enhanced characters. I was surprised as I also experienced feelings, forms and images that will inspire my writing and visual creations as well...I had such a wonderful experience.
— Lisa W., student
Let me tell you how much I enjoyed your class…it was nothing like I’d imagined. You have a special warmth to your considerable instructor ‘chops.’ The magic of this trait is the relaxation, honesty and understanding it promotes.
— Paula C., student

background photos by Frank J. Lanza Photography, courtesy of Theater Ninjas
Contents of this site copyright 2007-present, Ray Caspio & their respective owners.
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Ray Caspio received a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship. The Fellowships is a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. Funding for the Fellowship program is made possible by the generous support of Cuyahoga County residents through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.