80 Facts About Konstantin Stanislavski


Konstantin Stanislavski was widely recognized as an outstanding character actor, and the many productions that he directed garnered him a reputation as one of the leading theatre directors of his generation.


Konstantin Stanislavski collaborated with the director and designer Edward Gordon Craig and was formative in the development of several other major practitioners, including Vsevolod Meyerhold, Yevgeny Vakhtangov, and Michael Chekhov.


Konstantin Stanislavski continued to direct, teach, and write about acting until his death a few weeks before the publication of the first volume of his life's great work, the acting manual An Actor's Work.


Konstantin Stanislavski was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labour and the Order of Lenin and was the first to be granted the title of People's Artist of the USSR.


Konstantin Stanislavski wrote that "there is nothing more tedious than an actor's biography" and that "actors should be banned from talking about themselves".


An out-of-print English translation of Elena Poliakova's 1977 Russian biography of Konstantin Stanislavski was published in 1982.


Konstantin Stanislavski subjected his acting and direction to a rigorous process of artistic self-analysis and reflection.


Konstantin Stanislavski introduced into the production process a period of discussion and detailed analysis of the play by the cast.


Konstantin Stanislavski began to develop the more actor-centred techniques of "psychological realism" and his focus shifted from his productions to rehearsal process and pedagogy.


Konstantin Stanislavski pioneered the use of theatre studios as a laboratory in which to innovate actor training and to experiment with new forms of theatre.


Konstantin Stanislavski organised his techniques into a coherent, systematic methodology, which built on three major strands of influence: the director-centred, unified aesthetic and disciplined, ensemble approach of the Meiningen company; the actor-centred realism of the Maly; and the Naturalistic staging of Antoine and the independent theatre movement.


The system cultivates what Konstantin Stanislavski calls the "art of experiencing".


Later, Konstantin Stanislavski further elaborated the system with a more physically grounded rehearsal process that came to be known as the "Method of Physical Action".


Up until the communist revolution in 1917, Konstantin Stanislavski often used his inherited wealth to fund his experiments in acting and directing.


Konstantin Stanislavski chose not to attend university, preferring to work in the family business.


Increasingly interested in "experiencing the role", Konstantin Stanislavski experimented with maintaining a characterization in real life.


One of Shchepkin's students, Glikeriya Fedotova, taught Konstantin Stanislavski; she instilled in him the rejection of inspiration as the basis of the actor's art, stressed the importance of training and discipline, and encouraged the practice of responsive interaction with other actors that Konstantin Stanislavski came to call "communication".


Konstantin Stanislavski became interested in the aesthetic theories of Vissarion Belinsky, from whom he took his conception of the role of the artist.


In February 1891, Konstantin Stanislavski directed Leo Tolstoy's The Fruits of Enlightenment for the Society of Art and Literature, in what he later described as his first fully independent directorial work.


In My Life in Art, Konstantin Stanislavski described this approach as one in which the director is "forced to work without the help of the actor".


From 1894 onward, Konstantin Stanislavski began to assemble detailed prompt-books that included a directorial commentary on the entire play and from which not even the smallest detail was allowed to deviate.


Whereas the Ensemble's effects tended toward the grandiose, Konstantin Stanislavski introduced lyrical elaborations through the mise-en-scene that dramatised more mundane and ordinary elements of life, in keeping with Belinsky's ideas about the "poetry of the real".


Konstantin Stanislavski uses the theatre and its technical possibilities as an instrument of expression, a language, in its own right.


Nemirovich was a successful playwright, critic, theatre director, and acting teacher at the Philharmonic School who, like Konstantin Stanislavski, was committed to the idea of a popular theatre.


Konstantin Stanislavski later compared their discussions to the Treaty of Versailles, their scope was so wide-ranging; they agreed on the conventional practices they wished to abandon and, on the basis of the working method they found they had in common, defined the policy of their new theatre.


Viktor Simov, whom Konstantin Stanislavski had met in 1896, was engaged as the company's principal designer.


In 1898, Konstantin Stanislavski co-directed with Nemirovich the first of his productions of the work of Anton Chekhov.


Konstantin Stanislavski went on to direct the successful premieres of Chekhov's other major plays: Uncle Vanya in 1899, Three Sisters in 1901, and The Cherry Orchard in 1904.


In 1902, Konstantin Stanislavski directed the premiere productions of the first two of Gorky's plays, The Philistines and The Lower Depths.


Konstantin Stanislavski based his characterisation of Satin on an ex-officer he met there, who had fallen into poverty through gambling.


The Lower Depths was a triumph that matched the production of The Seagull four years earlier, though Konstantin Stanislavski regarded his own performance as external and mechanical.


Konstantin Stanislavski staged other important Naturalistic works, including Gerhart Hauptmann's Drayman Henschel, Lonely People, and Michael Kramer and Leo Tolstoy's The Power of Darkness.


In 1904, Konstantin Stanislavski finally acted on a suggestion made by Chekhov two years earlier that he stage several one-act plays by Maurice Maeterlinck, the Belgian Symbolist.


Konstantin Stanislavski engaged two important new collaborators in 1905: Liubov Gurevich became his literary advisor and Leopold Sulerzhitsky became his personal assistant.


The tour provoked a major artistic crisis for Konstantin Stanislavski that had a significant impact on his future direction.


Konstantin Stanislavski began to formulate a psychological approach to controlling the actor's process in a Manual on Dramatic Art.


Konstantin Stanislavski focused on the search for inner motives to justify action and the definition of what the characters are seeking to achieve at any given moment.


Konstantin Stanislavski developed his ideas about three trends in the history of acting, which were to appear eventually in the opening chapters of An Actor's Work: "stock-in-trade" acting, the art of representation, and the art of experiencing.


Konstantin Stanislavski's production of A Month in the Country was a watershed in his artistic development.


At this stage in the development of his approach, Konstantin Stanislavski's technique was to identify the emotional state contained in the psychological experience of the character during each bit and, through the use of the actor's emotion memory, to forge a subjective connection to it.


Konstantin Stanislavski insisted that they should play the actions that their discussions around the table had identified.


Late in 1910, Gorky invited Konstantin Stanislavski to join him in Capri, where they discussed actor training and Konstantin Stanislavski's emerging "grammar".


Konstantin Stanislavski would develop this use of improvisation in his work with his First Studio.


Konstantin Stanislavski hoped to prove that his recently developed system for creating internally justified, realistic acting could meet the formal demands of a classic play.


Increasingly absorbed by his teaching, in 1913 Konstantin Stanislavski held open rehearsals for his production of Moliere's The Imaginary Invalid as a demonstration of the system.


Konstantin Stanislavski began to inflect his technique of dividing the action of the play into bits with an emphasis on improvisation; he would progress from analysis, through free improvisation, to the language of the text:.


Konstantin Stanislavski selected Suler to lead the studio.


Konstantin Stanislavski created the Second Studio of the MAT in 1916, in response to a production of Zinaida Gippius' The Green Ring that a group of young actors had prepared independently.


Konstantin Stanislavski hoped that the successful application of his system to opera, with its inescapable conventionality and artifice, would demonstrate the universality of his approach to performance and unite the work of Mikhail Shchepkin and Feodor Chaliapin.


Konstantin Stanislavski invited Serge Wolkonsky to teach diction and Lev Pospekhin to teach expressive movement and dance and attended both of their classes as a student.


Konstantin Stanislavski spent the summer of 1914 in Marienbad where, as he had in 1906, he researched the history of theatre and theories of acting to clarify the discoveries that his practical experiments had produced.


Konstantin Stanislavski remembered that he was carrying an official document that mentioned having played to Kaiser Wilhelm during their tour of 1906 that, when he showed it to the officers, produced a change of attitude towards his group.


Konstantin Stanislavski continued to develop his system, explaining at an open rehearsal for Woe from Wit his concept of the state of "I am being".


When he prepared for his role in Pushkin's Mozart and Salieri, Konstantin Stanislavski created a biography for Salieri in which he imagined the character's memories of each incident mentioned in the play, his relationships with the other people involved, and the circumstances that had impacted on Salieri's life.


Konstantin Stanislavski welcomed the February Revolution of 1917 and its overthrow of the absolute monarchy as a "miraculous liberation of Russia".


Konstantin Stanislavski thought that the social upheavals presented an opportunity to realize his long-standing ambitions to establish a Russian popular theatre that would provide, as the title of an essay he prepared that year put it, "The Aesthetic Education of the Popular Masses".


On 5 March 1921, Konstantin Stanislavski was evicted from his large house on Carriage Row, where he had lived since 1903.


Konstantin Stanislavski was to live there until his death in 1938.


The tour began in Berlin, where Konstantin Stanislavski arrived on 18 September 1922, and proceeded to Prague, Zagreb, and Paris, where he was welcomed at the station by Jacques Hebertot, Aurelien Lugne-Poe, and Jacques Copeau.


Konstantin Stanislavski discussed with Copeau the possibility of establishing an international theatre studio and attended performances by Ermete Zacconi, whose control of his performance, economic expressivity, and ability both to "experience" and "represent" the role impressed him.


Konstantin Stanislavski sailed to New York City and arrived on 4 January 1923.


At the request of a US publisher, Konstantin Stanislavski reluctantly agreed to write his autobiography, My Life in Art, since his proposals for an account of the system or a history of the MAT and its approach had been rejected.


On 20 March 1924, Konstantin Stanislavski met President Calvin Coolidge at the White House.


On his return to Moscow in August 1924, Konstantin Stanislavski began with the help of Gurevich to make substantial revisions to his autobiography, in preparation for a definitive Russian-language edition, which was published in September 1926.


Konstantin Stanislavski continued to act, reprising the role of Astrov in a new production of Uncle Vanya.


Aware of the disapproval of Bulgakov felt by the Repertory Committee of the People's Commissariat for Education, Konstantin Stanislavski threatened to close the theatre if the play was banned.


Konstantin Stanislavski's working methods contributed innovations to the system: the analysis of scenes in terms of concrete physical tasks and the use of the "line of the day" for each character.


Ideally, Konstantin Stanislavski felt, it would consist of two volumes: the first would detail the actor's inner experiencing and outer, physical embodiment; the second would address rehearsal processes.


In 1933, Konstantin Stanislavski worked on the second half of An Actor's Work.


Konstantin Stanislavski first explored this approach practically in his work on Three Sisters and Carmen in 1934 and Moliere in 1935.


Konstantin Stanislavski felt that too much discussion in the early stages of rehearsal confused and inhibited the actors.


In performance the actor is aware of only one step at a time, Konstantin Stanislavski reasoned, but this focus risks the loss of the overall dynamic of a role in the welter of moment-to-moment detail.


Borrowing a term from Henry Irving, Konstantin Stanislavski called this the "perspective of the role".


Every afternoon for five weeks during the summer of 1934 in Paris, Konstantin Stanislavski worked with the American actress Stella Adler, who had sought his assistance with the blocks she had confronted in her performances.


In line with Joseph Stalin's policy of "isolation and preservation" towards certain internationally famous cultural figures, Konstantin Stanislavski lived in a state of internal exile in Moscow.


Once the students were acquainted with the training techniques of the first two years, Konstantin Stanislavski selected Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet for their work on roles.


Konstantin Stanislavski worked with the students in March and April 1937, focusing on their sequences of physical actions, on establishing their through-lines of action, and on rehearsing scenes anew in terms of the actors' tasks.


The Opera-Dramatic Studio embodied the most complete implementation of the training exercises that Konstantin Stanislavski described in his manuals.


From late 1936 onwards, Konstantin Stanislavski began to meet regularly with Vsevolod Meyerhold, with whom he discussed the possibility of developing a common theatrical language.


Konstantin Stanislavski was buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, not far from the grave of Anton Chekhov.