Constantin Stanilavski Resource Pack


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Constantin Stanilavski Resource Pack

  1. 1. Constantin Stanislavski Resource Pack
  2. 2. Life of Practitioner <ul><li>Alexeyer was born in Moscow on January 5th 1863 and was named Kanstantin Sergeyevich Alexeyer. </li></ul><ul><li>He was born into a family who </li></ul><ul><li>were well known for their production of gold and silver threads. </li></ul><ul><li>When Alexeyer was a small child his family opened a small theatre group called The Alexeyer Circle. After time Stanislavski was made a leading member of the group. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>In September 1885 Alexeyer auditioned for the Moscow theatre school.   </li></ul><ul><li>He was given a place at the school however he left after three weeks as he didn’t feel the training was right for him, due to having to copy the master rather then being able to put his own input into the performance. </li></ul><ul><li>Due to his families success in their business at the age of 25 Alexeyer took up the stage name of Stanislavski, in order to be recognised for his own achievements rather than those of his family. </li></ul><ul><li>At the same age his career in theatre started to take off as he established the Society of Art and Literature at the Maly Theatre. This is where he gained a lot of the experience and knowledge in ethics, aesthetics and stage craft which he used later in life throughout the rest of his career. </li></ul><ul><li>Stanislavski made a significant contribution to the European and American realistic acting. </li></ul><ul><li>Towards the end of his very successful and inspiring career, Stanislavski published two books, My Life in Art and The Actor and his work. </li></ul><ul><li>Stanislavski died on August 7th 1938. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Study of his Work <ul><li>Stanislavski’s first major success started by him founding the Moscow Art Theatre along with Vladimir Nemirovich Danchemko, which was Russia’s first ensemble theatre in 1898. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The first performance Tsar Fiodor by Maria Chekhov that Stanislavski was involved in was very successful for the theatre however the performances that followed were not so successful. The Assumption of Hannele was forbidden to be shown after protests were made by the church. The theatre then began to get into financial problems due to the performances not bringing in enough profit. They eventually managed to make a comeback with a performance called The Seagull. A following performance “Locandiera” led to Nemirovich being involved with the police due to the show needing special clearance before it could be shown to working class audiences. To settle this they where forced to change the name of the theatre from Open Theatre to Moscow Arts Theatre. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Because of the success of the first show that was written by Chekhova they wished to be able to show her next script “Uncle Vania” however this was given to neighbouring theatre Mali. Later Mali told Chekhova that Act Three wasn’t to the required standard and wished for it to be rewritten. Because of this Chekhova revoked his script from them. Nemirovich and Stanislavski went to visit Chekhova and asked for permission to use her latest script which she allowed. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Stanislavski went on to impress his audience by the way in which he stepped into the characters role. One member of the audience described it as “ As if the make-up came from within.” In following performances Stanislavski gave performances which was based around the psychological aspects rather than the external appearance and technique. The Moscow Arts Theatre took a different approach to theatre style in comparison to the greatly stylised and unrealistic style which was very common in theatres of that time. </li></ul><ul><li>His success in this then led onto him creating the first drama school for young actors to train which also inspired other practioners to form theatre groups such as “The Actors Studio” and “Group Theatre”. </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The group theatre was established between 1931 and 1940 and was aimed at actors around the age of 25. The group was formed around the belief that theatre had become too manufactured and should be focused more on the art of acting itself. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li> In 1931 a group of 40 actors went to Brookfield Connecticut with the aim to study, plan and act a new type of theatre. The production that the group studied was The House of Connelly. When they returned to Broadway they performed the piece with great success. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Stanislavski created a system which was to assist actors to adjust to the parameters of their character in any given theatre performance. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The start of his work began with Stanislavski organising workshops for the young actors to work on their techniques and be trained in his system. The system involved the actors using their own memories to express emotions naturally. Because of this some of the actors started to suffer with hysteria. As a result of this he started to adapt his techniques so that they were less stressful towards the actors. Stanislavski altered his system so that it taught the actors to use their imagination and beliefs in the events of the text. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This system was very successful for Stanislavski and enabled him to succeed ahead of any other producer of director of his time. </li></ul><ul><li>Stanislavski’s work was influential to the development of socialist realism in the USSR and along with Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko to psychological realism on the United States. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Socialist realism was a style of realistic art which should have a purpose or meaning which enhances the aims of socialism and communism. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Psychological realism was a movement which occurred in the late nineteenth century that guided theatrical texts and performances to have a stronger devotion to real life. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Stanislavski’s Ideas and Innovations <ul><li>His major idea was something which became known as Stanislavski’s System. The “system” taught actors to “live the part” on stage to create a more believable performance by analysing the character’s motivations. </li></ul><ul><li>The actors do this by asking themselves the “magic if” – “If I were my character, what would I be thinking, how would I be feeling?” this helps the actor assume the mentality of their character. </li></ul><ul><li>The actor bases their role on the given circumstances of the play, its narrative, facts, time and settings, as well as the interpretation by the director and the design of the piece. </li></ul><ul><li>The actor also relies on their own imagination to give the character its life, either using hints from the text or inventing them themselves. This is something Stanislavski found very important to creating a character. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Method Of Physical Action <ul><li>Stanislavski’s Method of Physical Action is based on the idea that the physical actions of a performer are just as important as the words they speak. It requires an understanding of how significant these are, and the idea that a person will only ever have control over their own body in their lifetime. </li></ul><ul><li>The rehearsal process gives the director and actor a chance to develop the actions that will affect the actor and give the scene life, considering the emotional and aesthetic aspects of the play at the same time. </li></ul><ul><li>Later in life, Stanislavski thought that the art of performance could only be learned by practice, in performance and observation, not from looking at literature and only reading about the subject. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Impact of His Work <ul><li>In the USA his theories are a huge source of many actors. For example Stella Alder, Marlon Brando. They have used his idea and experimented with it further. In 1918 he established the first studio as a school for young actors and in his later years he wrote two books, which have been translated into 20 languages. This has allowed his knowledge to spread to many cultures. His character development was a very influential acting system on a stage as well as on the screen. This has produced renowned schools (The actors studio, Group theatre) by using his ideas. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Impact On Theatre Generally <ul><li>Stanislavski allowed actors to break away from there exact lines and the exact actions of the script by making them pay more attention to the important message within the writing. He was an inspiring teacher which his method remains in the US, especially through the influence of Lee Straskeig. His contribution to modern American and European realistic acting has remained in the performance training for the last century. Because his work has been translated to many countries its has created debates about acting internationally. His teachings are common sense so actors don’t realise they are using his concepts when doing so. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Stanislavski’s Impact On Others and Theatre Practice <ul><li>Whether it is realised or not every practitioner in the business has been influenced by Stanislavski’s systems and teachings. </li></ul><ul><li>His systems are used as the basis of most teachings of performing arts from directorship to acting in the western world to the present day. </li></ul><ul><li>Unitisation Collaboration Role Play Tempo </li></ul><ul><li>Many of his pupils from the Moscow Art Theatre later became important practitioners in their own right, creating an revolution of realistic and truthful theatre </li></ul><ul><li>These include:- </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ryszard Boleshawski </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(The first of Stanislavskis’ students to put the systems into practice. Boleshawski was the founder of The American Laboratory theatre, this was greatly influential to American theatre.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Michael Chekhov </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(was said to be Stanislavski’s brightest student, he both rebelled against and embraced Constantin Stanislavski's systems. He set up his own studio in America then moved to England to found the Chekhov Theatre School in Devon. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stela Alder </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Was a predominant American member of ‘Group Theatre’, she performed on Broadway regularly and was in films such as ‘Shadow Of A Thin Man’) </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Others you may recognise are;
  13. 13. Some Issues That May Be Raised By Stanislavski’s Work <ul><li>Many became frustrated with his elaborate suggestions. </li></ul><ul><li>Stanislavski’s suggestion of the actors applying their own memories to there acting often caused mental disruption and hysteria among the actors </li></ul><ul><li>He often would interpret plays differently to what the writer would intend. </li></ul><ul><li>Because his system meant actors should become artist within their own right, directors began to have a less important role. However now we just call it collaboration. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Stanislavski’s methods caused plays to take a lot longer and were a lot more expensive due to the time now taken to rehearse and be ‘realistic’ </li></ul><ul><li>The System also Would mean that actors would now actually have to have skill and being in a show would mean a lot more effort, in the long term we can only see this as a positive. </li></ul><ul><li>His System covered a lot of areas in detail, some saw these as being rather strict with high expectations. However Constantin Stanislavski stressed that his systems and teachings were to be interpreted and changed in anyway according to the individuals methods and views. </li></ul>
  15. 15. His Impact On Us <ul><li>Stanislavski’s system has been used throughout our education of performing arts and dramatic studies. </li></ul><ul><li>He has also influenced many of our idols from Hollywood and beyond. </li></ul><ul><li>It has given us a deeper understanding of performing arts, and appreciate the techniques behind the theatre greater. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Bibliography <ul><li>Websites </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> /image </li></ul><ul><li>Books </li></ul><ul><li>JEAN BENEDETTI, 1990. Stanislavski a Biography. London Methuen </li></ul><ul><li>TOBY COLE, 1955. Acting A Handbook of the Stanislavski Method. New York, Crown. </li></ul><ul><li>CONSTANTIN STANISLAVSKI, 1968. Building A Character. London: Methuen & Co </li></ul><ul><li>JEAN BENEDETTI, 1998. Stanislavski and the actor. London. </li></ul>