• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Outline and assess what you consider to be the most important aspects of one practitioner's contribution to modern theatre.

Extracts from this document...


Outline and assess what you consider to be the most important aspects of one practitioner's contribution to modern theatre. Konstantin Stanislavski, the Russian theatre practitioner, revolutionised theatre by pioneering a new realistic approach to acting as opposed to the clich�d, declamatory style of overacting of his day. His work in Moscow involved setting up and directing the Moscow Art Theatre, and he was closely connected to the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. Chekhov's play 'The Seagull' was one of the first performances the Moscow Art Theatre ever had. Chekhov's work fitted well with Stanislavski's teachings as it aimed to be a realistic, and just as Stanislavski said, 'a slice of life onstage' Three methods from his 'system' which are crucial to Stanislavski's contribution to modern theatre are; Emotion Memory, Magic If and Given Circumstances. These three methods are key for an actor's realistic portrayal of a role and allow the audience to engage in the action onstage. Stanislavski felt that whenever an actor needed to portray an emotion onstage they're should not try to invent or create an emotion that was alien to them or the performance looks false and stilted. This false emotion would get in the way of stage truth. ...read more.


We then recreate the physical reaction when desired by the character. This is a far cry from the declamatory style of Russian theatre as Stanislavski would have known it. One important aspect of Stanislavski's teaching that this method highlights is that the actors always remain themselves onstage. Stanislavski himself said that, "the moment you lose yourself onstage marks the departure from truly living your character and the beginning of exaggerated false acting." He also argues that "The broader your memory of emotions, the richer the material for inner creativity." However he concurs that no one has sufficient material for all roles so an actor must also observe other people. I think this is among Stanislavski's most innovative method in that it provides a heightened sense of realism onstage and has contributed greatly to theatre as we know it today. The next aspect of Stanislavski's system I would like to outline is Given Circumstances. The given circumstances are the starting point for an actor whenever they are given a role to play. These are the facts that cannot be altered by the actor. They include; the story of the play, events, period, time and place of action, the conditions of the characters life, costumes, props and lighting. ...read more.


For this to be effective it is vital fro an actor to be able to improve their imagination, in order to play roles further and further away from themselves. To make a character real the actor must use their imagination to fill in everything that is missing, much in the way a child would. They must be familiar with the life off stage, before and after the play, the intricate details of a characters life. Stanislavski often felt it was helpful to do "a day in the life of" your character. The actor should be fully aware of the day to day banalities of that characters existence. As Stanislavski said, "Magic If acts as a lever to lift us out of the everyday world and into the realm of imagination" On the whole I think Magic If, Emotion Memory and Given Circumstances are Konstantin Stanislavski's most important and enduring contribution to modern theatre. When an actor studies these methods they may think they are common sense and go without saying but this wasn't always the case. It is Stanislavski hard work and finely honed system that has infiltrated the modern theatre world and has allowed the Theatre to be used as a moral instrument, which can civilize, increase sensitivity and heighten perception. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Theatre Studies section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Theatre Studies essays

  1. Greek Theatre Research and our Masked Perfomance

    that I could design the face of the character onto the mask. I then drew on the eyes; we had a choice of which eyes to use depending on our characters for example we could use angry, happy, sad or normal.

  2. theatre Studies portfolio

    Also that she is the only person who is in charge of her life and who knows what is best for her. This is the time when she has to decide whether or not she is ready to change- to take the initiative and face her choices or to stay in her old shell- and she chooses life.

  1. A2 theatre studies portfolio

    We wanted to create a piece of drama that would be both visually, aurally, and thought-provokingly interesting for both audience and performer. For the opening scene of our piece, it is the musical number, "I'll make a man of you".

  2. Konstantin Stanislavski.

    but by all your creative forces, all the elements of your inner creative state on the stage together with your real life in the sense of the play Therefore, to follow the teachings of Stanislavski it is necessary for the actor to totally immerse himself, body, soul and mind, in the part that he is playing.

  1. AS Theatre Studies Portfolio

    that its presence on stage was justified, for example the cart that was constantly on the move and could be altered to fit different scene scenarios. In our piece we cut back props to only three benches that are used for a variety of purposes, as they are, as church pews, to represent a cross and as a stage.

  2. 20th century innovators of theatre

    Peter Brook believes in taking a form from another culture and adapting it. He believes that trying to create an exact representation of a form so alien to an outsider, yet that comes so naturally to it's inhabitant is useless.

  1. A critical analysis of Act 1 of 'The Three Sisters' by Anton Chekhov.

    Masha, the middle of the children, is unhappily married to Kulygin. It is revealed that Masha was married when she was 18, and felt that her husband was wise and interesting; now, however, she appreciates his kindness, but no longer views him as wise, but bluff and boring.

  2. Konstantin Stanislavski (1863 - 1938)

    Instead he aimed to create a real, artistic, scenic truth by examining the psychological aspects of life by manipulating the subconscious via conscious physical action. 4. What was the name of the theatre company Stanislavski began with the Russian actor Nemirovich in 1897?

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work