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Three Sisters, Anton Chekhov. Stanislavski's 'Magic If' as it pertains to the character Toozenbach - Chekhov's 3 Sisters

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Three Sisters, Anton Chekhov Stanislavski's "Magic If" as it pertains to the character Toozenbach Our objective is to apply Stanislavski's "magic if" to our own selves, considering the character from this play that we have been chosen to play. In order to do this with any degree of veracity or indeed pertinence to the job at hand, we must examine Toozenbach as an individual. Toozenbach, (sometimes spelt Tuzenbach) or Nikolai Lvovich is a baron and leftenant in the army. His full name or rather title is Baron Toozenbach-Krone-Alschauer, a German name clearly, and a rather grandiose sounding one at that, alhough he points out on at least two occasions that he is actually Russian and not German. It can be inferred from this that his father was named Leo or Lev as his middle name (which is evidently his patronym) is Lvovich. He is an individual whom it is clear has had a relatively priveleged upbringing and life. ...read more.


I feel sorry for him, even though he irritates me. I think he's shy" He appears to be defending Soliony. All in all, this character is a complicated one and perhaps one of the most involved and dare I say it enigmatic in the play, and this brings us to the Stanislvaski method. Perhaps a good start would be to find a copy of Stanislavki's book 'An actor prepares'! To be brief, we will look at of the fundamentals of method acting as described by many modern proponents of the Stanislavski method. 1. Relaxation 2. Concentration 3. Objects 4. Animal exercise 5. The private moment 6. Moment to moment 7. Affective memory 8. The Magic If 9. Substitution 10. Song and dance 11. Speaking out and finally, 12. Justification. We will discuss the Magic If very briefly, although we may return to the other points at some point in the future. The Magic If is in one sense encompasses many if not all of the above points and is a way a kind of union and ulitmate culmination of the combination of the 11 other points above. ...read more.


For example if I were playing Toozenbach in this class and even without props, I would have to imagine the uniform that Toozenbach is wearing, or in a sense 'assume' the form of one who is uniform. It is the actor's job to make the props and set real to himself. By using the "magic if" the actor is granting himself permission to "believe" in these imaginary objects, in the same way a young girl believes her doll is real, or a young boy believes he is really "Tarzan", or "Spiderman", or that the water pistol he is using is really a gun. On some level we must all recapture that childlike quality! Of key importance in using the "magic if" in an actor's work is exploring with absolute honesty what the actor would actually do in the often unusual circumstances the author has presented them with . What would you really do if you were in Russia in the last century? ...read more.

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