The Stanislavski's System
Konstantin Sergeivich Stanislavski was born in 1863 and dies in 1938.
He was a Russian actor, director and acting trainer. In 1898 together
with Nemirovich- Danchenko, he founded the Moscow Art Theatre.
Stanislavski believed that theatre was about working together, he
recognized the need to improve the theatre practice of his time and
saw actors needed methods to help them act well and consistently. To
solve these problems he developed what was later to be called The
System. It was a rational process of techniques and exercises designed
to train ...view middle of the document...
These large units were then given titles which
defined their 'objectives' and were then sub-divided again into
smaller units for ease of scene and character development in
The superobjective, when deciding on the superobjective the cast
simply had to come up with a simple sentence that summed up the
significance of the play as a whole, taking into account their
interpretations of the authors intentions. Stanislavski believed that
this helped the actors focus on a key idea, which they were all
contributing to through their role in the performance. Therefor he
believed it was important that all of the actors involved in the
production to know and agree on the superobjective.
The method of physical actions, This idea grew from Stanislavski's
feeling that his actors were being overwhelmed by too much character
and plot detail at an early stage of the rehearsal process. He
believed this led them to try to hard, which resulted in physical and
mental tension. In the last five years of his life Stanislavski
explored a different approach to working on a production, in which the
company began by telling the story of a play's plot through its main
physical actions. The next stage was to create a more detailed version
that was based on an understanding of the logical sequence and nature
of those actions, with the actors adding their own improvised words.
Gradually as the rehearsals proceeded, the words of the text would
replace the improvisation. This technique is based on the idea that
the rhythm and tension of physical states and action can trigger
emotions. Thus it becomes possible for the performer to work from
outer expression to inner feeling.
Subtext, Stanislavski uses this term for the meaning and emotional
power that lie beneath the lines , the 'unspoken' content of
characters' thoughts, actions, attitudes and relationships. In probing
and expressing the subtext, actors create a more dynamic and life like
interpretation and performance of the text.
The through line of action, This device is based on Stanislavski's
idea that each actor should discover and utilise her/his character's
main motive for action whatever it is that drives them through the
play. I have used this device in helping me to understand a character
from A play by Anton Chekhov called 'The Three Sisters', stanislavski
was well known for directing Chekhov's plays including this one. I had
chosen to work on the character of Andrey. The through line of action
can be summed up in one sentence starting with 'I wantâ€¦.'. Firstly I
considered how Andrey's character behaves during the play and what his
main objectives are. I eventually came up with the sentence which I
think works for a through line of action of his character. 'I want my
sisters to understand me and respect my decisions'. Going...