MFA, California State University, Long Beach
Russian Academy of Dramatic Arts
Marjo-Riikka Makela (SAG, AFTRA, AEA, FIA) is a director, world renowned acting coach, and a professional actress. She has specialized in a variety of different acting techniques, is a long-standing member of the Michael Chekhov Association, a teacher for MICHA’s teacher training program, and has worked extensively with the Michael Chekhov Technique both as an actress and director. Makela received her training at the Russian Academy of Dramatic Arts (GITIS), holds an MFA in Acting from CSULB, and has extensive stage credits from Europe. Here in USA some of Marjo-Riikka’s favorite roles include Medea in direction of David Bridel, Yelena in Uncle Vanya at the Classic Stage Company in NYC, and her work with Sarah Kane and Andrei Malaev-Babel at the Stanislavsky Theatre Studio in Washington, DC. Her favorite directing credits include many Anton Chekhov’s plays, Shakespeare, Schiller, T. Williams, and an abundance of devised work. Recently, she has taught at the Stanislavsky Institute, National Theatre Academy and the National Theatre of Finland, California State University LB, Acting Corps Studios, ActorFest, Chapman University, Loyola Marymount University, The Insurgo Theater Movement, The Actor’s Movement Studio (NYC), the INTAR Theater (NYC), The Actors’ Gang, University of Southern California, and CalArts MFA programs. Makela does weekly private coaching for many successful TV and film actors and actresses. She has coached actors for films and series such as HER, Togetherness, Reunion, 10 Year Plan, True Blood, Madmen, CSI, Californication, Mentalist, Castle, Nip Tuck, Alphas, Body of Proof, Ghost Whisperer, Entourage, How I Met Your Mother, General Hospital Night Shift, Bones, Numb3rs , Deadwood, In Treatment, to mention a few. She has clients around the world, and she has been featured in Backstage, the Los Angeles Times, American Theater Magazine and several major European publications. She is an honorary member of the Stanislavsky Institute and a founder of Helsinki West Theatre Ensemble and Chekhov Studio International. Helsinki West’s first production in L.A. will be a wonderful play, I Gelosi, written by David Bridel, opening on May 9,2015.