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.


Creating Conscious Characters
February 10 — March 17, 2019
Sundays only, six sessions
Over the course of six meetings in a creatively supportive and holistic atmosphere, we will unfold principles of the Michael Chekhov technique to increase your psycho-physical awareness and open portals of imaginative transformation to create and embody fully conscious characters. This invitation is extended to those new to or with experience in the Michael Chekhov technique. It will be approached from a beginner's mind.

This exploration is open to a maximum of eight performing artists (ages 18 and up) both new to or with experience in the Michael Chekhov Technique. It will be approached from a beginner's mind. Please share this e-mail with anyone you think may be interested.

Art On Madison
14203 Madison Avenue
Lakewood, OH 44107
Plenty of free parking is available on Madison and nearby side streets. Please avoid metered parking so you can remain in the stream of our exploration. Meters do not run on weekends.

$145.00 for this six session, 13.5 hour offering.

A non-refundable online deposit of $45.00 is required to guarantee your spot. If you cancel seven (7) or more days before the workshop start date, you will receive credit good for one year from the date of payment. If MC3 cancels the workshop, your deposit may be refunded or credited toward future workshop offerings. 

Your remaining balance must be received online prior to the first session, or at the door in cash or check at the first session. Within 36 hours of your registration e-mail (see below) being received, you will be directed to a payment page with the following options:

•$45.00 deposit, pay balance online prior to our first session
•$45.00 deposit, pay balance in cash or check at door prior to first session
•$145.00 pay in full 

1. E-mail Ray Caspio at michaelchekhovcenter@gmail.com with answers to the following:
•What is your experience with the Michael Chekhov technique?
•What appeals to you about this offering?
•MC3 welcomes performers of all gender expressions and orientations. What is your preferred pronoun?

2. Once your e-mail is received and reviewed, you will be e-mailed a link to the payment page.

•Clothing and clean shoes you are comfortable in that allow for movement.

•Notebook and writing instrument.

•There are multiple options available for your exploration. Choose the one that most interests you.
1. You may work with a character from a play or film. Memorize one-two minutes of text to work with over the course of the six sessions. Do not make any acting choices with this text.
2. OR, you may work with a character of your own creation. If you already have text for them, have one to two minutes memorized. Do not make any acting choices with this text. 
3. OR, you may find inspiration in visual art, music, or poetry. If text is involved, memorize one to two minutes without making acting choices.
4. OR, you may discover and develop a character of your own over the course of the six sessions.

“[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
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.
Content on this site may only be used after obtaining written permission from the site owner.

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.