STANISLAVSKI “The System” I know you don’t want to… but you should probably take some notes now. Just a few notes. No big deal. You’ll be glad you did. Trust me…would I lie to you? Take notes anyway. Constantin Stanislavski (1863 – 1938) “Whatever thread one takes up in the history of twentieth-century drama leads back to Stanislavsky” Constantin Stanislavski • Creator of “The System” – basis for modern-day “method acting” • "An Actor Prepares", "Building a Character" and "Creating a Role” • Cofounder of the Moscow Art Theater (MAT) with Vladimir Danchenko (1897) • Actor, Director, Playwright, Teacher • Created phrases such as “stage direction” Constantin Stanislavski All of our acts, even the simplest, which are so familiar to us in everyday life, become strained when we appear behind the footlights before a public of a thousand people. That is why it is necessary to correct ourselves and learn again how to walk, sit, or lie down. It is essential to re-educate ourselves to look and see, on the stage, to listen and to hear. Stanislavski’s Visualization of his System English Recreation of his Drawing RELAXATION Learning to relax the muscles and eliminate physical tension while performing. CONCENTRATION Learning to think like an actor and to respond to one’s own imagination. WORK WITH SENSES Discovering the sensory base of the work: learning to memorize and recall sensations, often called “sense memory” and /or “affective memory”; learning to work from a small sensation and expand it, a technique Stanislavski called “spheres of attention”. SENSE OF TRUTH Learning to tell the difference between the organic and the artificial. Stanislavski believed that there were natural laws of acting, which were to be obeyed. GIVEN CIRCUMSTANCES Developing the ability to use previous four skills to create the world of the play (the circumstances given in the text) through true and organic means CONTACT & COMMUNICATION Developing the ability to interact with other performers spontaneously, and with an audience, without violating the world of the play. UNITS & OBJECTIVE Learning to divide the role into sensible units that can be worked on individually, and developing the ability to define each unit of the role by an active goal desired by the character rather than as an entirely literary idea. LOGIC & BELIEVABILITY Discovering how to be certain that the sum of the combined objectives are consistent and coherent and that they are in line with the play as a whole. WORK WITH TEXT Developing the ability to uncover the social, political, and artistic meaning of the text, and seeing that these ideas are contained within the performance. CREATIVE STATE An automatic culmination of all the previous steps.