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Konstantin Stanislavski (1863 - 1938)

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  • Essay length: 1364 words
  • Submitted: 12/10/2004
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AS and A Level Theatre Studies

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KONSTANTIN STANISLAVSKI (1863 - 1938)

1. What is Stanislavski known for?

Stanislavski is known as the founder of the first acting "System". He is also recognised as the co-founder of the Moscow Art Theatre, and as an eminent practitioner of the naturalist school of thought. Stanislavski challenged traditional notions of the dramatic process, establishing himself as one of the most pioneering thinkers in modern theatre. Using the Moscow Art Theatre as his conduit, Stanislavski developed his own unique system of training wherein actors would research the situation created by the script, break down the text according to their character's motivations and recall their own experiences, thereby causing actions and reactions according to these motivations. He believed that onstage an actor should be totally relaxed in order to make his performance plausible. To reach a "believable truth," after years of research with actors of the Moscow Art Theatre, Stanislavski started to employ new and original methods, such as "emotional memory." He felt at that time that to work on a particular emotion in a role that involved fear, the actor might remember something that frightened him from his own life.

Stanislavski believed that an actor needed

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