ASND - Day 3 - Display

For today:
Fantasy vs. Reality
 Method Acting
 Movie time
 QuickWrite
 Discussion
 Small group readings
 Character Analysis for scenes 3 & 4
Method acting is a phrase that loosely refers to a
family of techniques by which actors try to create
in themselves the thoughts and emotions of their
characters in an effort to develop lifelike performances.
It can be contrasted with more classical forms of
acting, in which actors simulate the thoughts and
emotions of their characters through external
means, such as vocal intonation or facial
Origins: Constantin Stanislavski
Stanislavski's system is a progression of techniques
in acting used to train actors to draw believable
emotions to their performances.
“Emotional Memory”
“The Method of Physical Action”
“The Magic ‘If’”
American Tradition: Lee Strasburg
The Group Theater in New York in 1931
The Actors Studio with Kazan
 Non-profit lessons and workshops for actors
Kazan, in his autobiography, wrote, "He carried with
him the aura of a prophet, a magician, a witch
doctor, a psychoanalyst, and a feared father of a
Jewish home...”
The human being who acts is the human being who
lives. That is a terrifying circumstance. Essentially the
actor acts a fiction, a dream; in life the stimuli to which
we respond are always real. The actor must constantly
respond to stimuli that are imaginary. And yet this
must happen not only just as it happens in life, but
actually more fully and more expressively. Although
the actor can do things in life quite easily, when he has
to do the same thing on the stage under fictitious
conditions he has difficulty because he is not equipped
as a human being merely to playact at imitating life. He
must somehow believe. He must somehow be able to
convince himself of the rightness of what he is doing in
order to do things fully on the stage.
-Lee Strasberg
Notable graduates of the Actors Studio:
James Dean
Paul Newman
Marilyn Monroe
Al Pacino
Marlon Brando
Jack Nicholson
Dustin Hoffman
Harvey Keitel
Alec Baldwin
Robert De Niro
Christopher Walken
Sean Penn
Dennis Hopper
Director Martin Scorsese said of him, "He is the
marker. There's 'before Brando' and 'after Brando.'"
Actor Jack Nicholson once said, "When Marlon
dies, everybody moves up one.“
Studied under Stella Adler
Before Method: Classical Acting
Gone With the Wind
 Casablanca
 Wizard of Oz
After Method (AM) Movies
Taxi Driver
 The Godfather
As we watch, note how Brando “lives” his
character. Also note how Vivien Leigh, who
plays Blanche, is a model of “classical acting.”
Reflect on the performances of Brando and
Leigh, and their efforts in the craft of acting.
Discuss how their notions of acting fit in with
Williams’ thematic discussion of past vs.
present or fantasy vs. reality in Streetcar.
What explanation does Blanche give for having lost Belle
How does Stanley’s attitude toward Blanche change in
Scene Two and what evokes that change?
What is the implication of the “Napoleonic Code” as it
relates to Stella and Stanley?
Sum up the exposition Williams defines for "The Poker
Night" Scene. Why does Williams integrate the
Van Gogh painting? What is the implication of the reference
to “primary colors,” including the “bold” colors of the
linoleum, the shirts, the watermelon –“the raw colors of
childhood’s spectrum”.
What is your impression of the scene between Blanche and
Mitch? Clarify your response with specifics from the text.
Read through Scene 4
Complete the other side of the Character
Analysis sheet for scenes 3 & 4. This will be
your homework for next time.