An Actor's Work: A Student's Diary (Paperback) book cover

An Actor's Work

A Student's Diary

By Konstantin Stanislavski

Translated by Jean Benedetti

© 2008 – Routledge

728 pages

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New in Paperback: 9780415551205
pub: 2009-09-21
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About the Book

Stanislavski’s ‘system’ has dominated actor-training in the West since his writings were first translated into English in the 1920s and 30s. His systematic attempt to outline a psycho-physical technique for acting single-handedly revolutionized standards of acting in the theatre.

Until now, readers and students have had to contend with inaccurate, misleading and difficult-to-read English-language versions. Some of the mistranslations have resulted in profound distortions in the way his system has been interpreted and taught. At last, Jean Benedetti has succeeded in translating Stanislavski’s huge manual into a lively, fascinating and accurate text in English. He has remained faithful to the author's original intentions, putting the two books previously known as An Actor Prepares and Building A Character back together into one volume, and in a colloquial and readable style for today's actors.

The result is a major contribution to the theatre, and a service to one of the great innovators of the twentieth century.


'A lively new translation by Jean Benedetti… Stanislavksi was provocative, controversial - and, as An Actor's Work confirms, a genius' - The Times

'A volume that clearly communicates the entire system … it should be made required reading. - The Guardian

'Getting the system straight from the horses mouth … An Actor's Work should be a manual not just in drama school, but but on any course where students are taught to assess texts and arugments critically' - Times Literary Supplement

'A landmark achievement in Stanislavski studies … essential reading for anyone interested in acting, practically or academically, at all levels from schools to the industry.' - Times Higher Educational Supplement

'Benedetti, the author of several previous books on Stanislavski, has both improved and expanded upon the Hapgood editions, and the result is a longer yet much more readable text. ' Libray Journal

'The twin bibles of acting books, Stanislavsky's An Actor Prepares and Building a Character, have been recently re-translated into a single tome.' - American Theatre'A far more authentic Stanislavsky.' Laurence Senelick, Tufts University, Boston

'More complete, much more accurate, and more readable [than the previous translation].’ Richard Hornby, University of California, Riverside

'Benedetti has done an excellent job… an elegantly presented and valuable volume… This volume is essential reading for anyone interested in acting, practically or academically, at all levels from schools to the industry.' - Times Higher Education

'…Jean Benedetti's translation is fresh, immediate, highly readable, very witty, and, above all, accessible.' - Dramatics

'This volume is a must for theater collections. Essential.' CHOICE

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / General
PERFORMING ARTS / Theater / History & Criticism