The Stanislavsky System of Acting: Legacy and Influence in Modern Performance
Konstantin Stanislavsky, the Russian director and actor and co-founder, in 1898, of the Moscow Art Theatre, was the originator of the most influential system of acting in the history of western theatre. Many of Stanislavsky’s concepts are widespread in popular thought on acting; this book offers a timely evaluation of the basis of his ideas, discussing whether the system has survived because Stanislavsky made discoveries about acting that are and always have been scientifically verifiable, or whether his methods work on a practical basis despite an outdated theory. Drawing on information that has become available in recent years in Russia, the book examines how the development of Stanislavsky’s system was influenced by scientific discoveries in his lifetime, and compares Stanislavsky’s methods with those of Evgeny Vakhtangov, Michael Chekhov and Vsevolod Meyerhold. A full understanding of these ideas is crucial for anyone interested in acting and actor-training today.
• Draws on recent publications on the subject in Russia, allowing the non-Russian speaker access to important new information • Offers a comparison with the theory and practice of Meyerhold, Michael Chekhov and Vakhtangov, placing Stanislavsky’s work in context • Discusses the scientific ideas in relation to acting in an accessible way