Stanislavsky in Focus
An Acting Master for the Twenty-First Century
Stanislavsky in Focus brilliantly examines the history and actual premises of Stanislavsky’s 'System', separating myth from fact with forensic skill.
The first edition of this now classic study showed conclusively how the 'System' was gradually transformed into the Method, popularised in the 1950s by Lee Strasberg and the Actor’s Studio. It looked at the gap between the original Russian texts and what most English-speaking practitioners still imagine to be Stanislavsky’s ideas.
This thoroughly revised new edition also delves even deeper into:
- the mythical depiction of Stanislavsky as a tyrannical director and teacher
- yoga, the mind-body-spirit continuum and its role in the ‘System’
- how Stanislavsky used subtexts to hide many of his ideas from Soviet censors.
The text has been updated to address all of the relevant scholarship, particularly in Russia, since the first edition was published. It also features an expanded glossary on the System's terminology and its historical exercises, as well as more on the political context of Stanislavsky's work, its links with cognitive science, and the System's relation to contemporary developments in actor-training. It will be a vital part of every practitioner's and historian's library.
Table of Contents
Preface: Stanislavsky Enters the Twenty-First Century Part 1: Transmission From Moscow to New York. New York Adopts Stanislavsky. Part 2: Translation The Classroom Circuit. The Publication Maze. Part 3: Transformation Stanislavsky’s Lost Term. Emotion and the Human Spirit of the Role. Action and the Human Body in the Role. Conclusion: A Legacy for the Future. Appendix I : Reading Between the Lines. Appendix II: Stanislavsky and Modern Dance. The System’s Terminology: A Selected Glossary
Sharon Marie Carnicke is widely known for her groundbreaking work on Russian acting techniques, her innovative examination of film acting, and her recent collaboration with computer scientists on acting’s place in virtual reality. With a Ph.D. in Russian from Columbia University and professional performance experience in New York, Moscow and Los Angeles, she speaks to theatre practitioners and scholars alike. She is currently Professor of Theatre and Slavic Languages at the University of Southern California and the leader of a workshop on Active Analysis (A/ACT) in Los Angeles.