Stanislavski and Naturalism

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I have chosen to play the character Nina from the 1896 play The Seagull by Anton Chekhov. My reasons for this are; she is the most mentioned lead female character and she seems to have a lot of depth to her, which I am very keen and eager to learn. My first step in playing the role of Nina would be to find the ‘Given Circumstances’. I have picked four ‘Given Circumstances’ to demonstrate how this technique of Stanislavski would help in creating the basics for a character. The first ‘Given Circumstance’ mentioned is ‘Nina, the young daughter of a wealthy landowner’ (Chekhov 1988 p.55). This tells us that Nina is from a wealthy family and that she will not have to struggle in life since her father is a landowner and would earn a lot of money. The second ‘Given Circumstance’ I found was ‘A section of the park on SORIN’s estate…Right and left of the stage is a shrubbery’ (Chekhov 1988 p.59). From this, we know that the first scene is on Sorin’s estate, and Sorin’s mother is an actress as it tells us on the cast list on page 55. With this information, we make the understanding that it is set in a nice estate with nice wealthy families since Arkadina, (Sorin’s mother, is an actress and would get paid a good income. It also mentions ‘shrubbery’ that is flowers, so we can picture this as a wealthy looking estate with a clean tidy garden with flowers. The next ‘Given Circumstance’ I picked gives you a clear understanding on what career Nina is driving towards ‘For the happiness of being a writer or an actress I’d put up with hunger and disappointment…but then to make up for it I should demand glory…real resounding glory’ (Chekhov 1988 p.90). This ‘Given Circumstance’ proves the character wants to head towards being a writer or an actress. With the ‘Given Circumstances’ such as the ones I have stated above it helps you create and believe in your character, it almost makes the character seem real. When I was...
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