A Theatrical movement from the late
19th century that steered theatrical
texts and performances toward greater
fidelity to real life.
Notes on Realism
The realist movement began with Henrik
Ibsen and was largely developed by
Constantin Stanislavsky and his Moscow
Arts Theatre. Together with Vladimir
Nemirovich-Danchenko the two pioneered
a break away from the highly stylised and
unrealistic theatre styles (e.g. Melodrama)
prevailing in the late 19th and early 20th
Henrik Ibsen
Ibsen is called the “Father of Realism” and the
“Father of Modern Drama”
 His plays were considered scandalous to many
of his era, when Victorian values of family life
and propriety largely held sway in Europe and
any challenge to them was considered immoral
and outrageous.
 Ibsen's work examined the realities that lay
behind many facades.
 Ibsen introduced a critical eye and free inquiry
into the conditions of life and issues of morality.
Constantin Stanislavsky
*His method is still in use today!
Stainslavsky developed his own system of drama, which
focused on the development of artistic truth onstage by
teaching actors to "live the part" during performance.
Emotional Memory
Moving instead to emphasizing the actor's use of
imagination and belief in the given circumstances of the
text rather than her/his private and often painful
Stanislavski proposed that actors study and experience
subjective emotions and feelings and manifest them to
audiences by physical and vocal means - Theatre
His system focused on creating truthful emotions and
then embodying these
Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko
Co-Founder of Moscow Arts Theatre with
Stanislovsky in 1898.
Moscow Arts Theatre
This theatre based their acting technique
on emotional recall and sense memory.
 It became the finest in the world for
realistic productions.
 Stanislavsky directed here.
 Its influence came to America via The
Group Theater in the 1930’s.
Realist Plays/Playwrights
Henrik Ibsen
- “A Doll’s House”
Anton Chekhov
- “The Sea Gull”
- “The Cherry Orchard”
- “Uncle Vanya”
- “Three Sisters”
Ivan Turgenev
- “Fathers and Sons”
Alexandr Ostrovsky
- “The Storm”
Aleksey Pisemsky
- “A Thousand Souls”