Into to Making Theatre
Directing Paper: Stanislavski
The beginning of modern directing is commonly associated with Konstantin Stanislavski, a Russian actor, teacher, and director, around the turn of the nineteenth century. Stanislavski is renowned as one of the most innovative directors who stressed ensemble acting and the importance of actors' absolute identification with their roles. Born into an extremely affluent household in Moscow, Russia in 1863, Stanislavski quickly joined a theatrical group organized by his family. Throughout the late 1800’s, Stanislavski rapidly progressed as an actor and eventually began to produce and direct plays. For the next forty years, he fabricated his own approach to acting that highlighted the psychological and emotional aspects of acting. Stanislavski was heavily influenced by the work of playwright, Anton Chekhov, in his realistic plays such as The Seagull, which Stanislavski would later direct. Stanislavski’s psychological approach to character development and emphasis on minute details in plays are two prominent reasons why we still recognize his impact on the performing arts today.
There are essentially two basic approaches to acting that presently exist; one being a technical, external approach while the other is a psychological, internal approach (Arnold 131). As a director and producer, Stanislavsky believed that the mere external behavior of an actor was not sufficient enough to reveal the unique inner realm of a character. Stanislavski repeatedly stressed the importance of research into the given time period or situation so that the performer would truly understand their role. Konstantin Stanislavski developed acting innovations from which the internal approach is the base of its foundation. In essence, the internal approach “involves identifying as closely as possible with the character to be played” (Arnold 125). Stanislavski found that acting could be done most effectively when actors reflected on...
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