Constantin Stanislavski

Stanislavsky, Constantin

Constantin Stanislavsky (kənstəntyēn´ stənyĬsläf´skē), 1863–1938, Russian theatrical director, teacher, and actor, whose original name was Constantin Sergeyevich Alekseyev. He was cofounder with Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko of the Moscow Art Theater in 1898, which he would remain associated with for the remainder of his life. As a director, he stressed ensemble acting as well as complete coordination of all phases of production. His outstanding productions included many of the plays of Chekhov, in which he tried to strip away rhetorical clichés to enter the emotional core and complex psychology of the characters. Stanislavsky stressed the importance of the actor's inner identification with the character and the actor's natural use of body and voice. His training for actors, now termed the Stanislavsky method, or "method acting," had a vast influence on modern schools of acting. In New York City, The Actors Studio adapted many of his ideas to their use. Stanislavsky also achieved renown as a director of opera.

See Stanislavsky's An Actor Prepares (tr. 1936), Building a Character (tr. 1950), and Creating a Role (tr. 1961); his autobiographical My Life in Art (tr. 1924); biography by E. Polyakova (1982); studies by C. Edwards, The Stanislavsky Heritage (1965), S. Moore, The Stanislavksy System (1974), and N. Gorchakov, Stanislavsky Directs (1968, repr. 1974).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Constantin Stanislavski: Selected full-text books and articles

An Actor's Handbook: An Alphabetical Arrangement of Concise Statements on Aspects of Acting By Constantin Stanislavsky; Elizabeth Reynolds Hapgood Theatre Arts Books, 1963
Stanislavski: An Introduction By Jean Benedetti Routledge, 2004
Soviet Theaters, 1917-1941 By Yosyp Hirniak; Serge Orlovsky; Gabriel Ramensky; Boris Volkov; Peter Yershov; Martha Bradshaw Research Program on the U.S.S.R., 1954
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Constantin Stanislavski begins on p. 14
The Actor's Ways and Means By Michael Redgrave W. Heinemann, 1953
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Constantin Stanislavski begins on p. 23
On Stage: A History of Theatre By Vera Mowry Roberts Harper & Row, 1962
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Constantin Stanislavski begins on p. 413
Master Teachers of Theatre: Observations on Teaching Theatre by Nine American Masters By Burnet M. Hobgood Southern Illinois University Press, 1988
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Constantin Stanislavski begins on p. 87
Theatre, the Rediscovery of Style By Michel Saint-Denis Theatre Arts Books, 1960
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Constantin Stanislavski begins on p. 41
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