Konstantin Stanislavski was a Russian director who transformed theatre in the West with his contributions to the birth of Realist theatre and his unprecedented approach to teaching acting. He lived through extraordinary times and his unique contribution to the arts still endures in the twenty-first century. He established the Moscow Art Theatre in 1898 with, among other plays, the premiere of Chekhov's The Seagull. He also survived revolutions, lost his fortune, found wide fame in America, and lived in internal exile under Stalin's Soviet Union.
Before writing his classic manual on acting, Stanislavski began writing an autobiography that he hoped would both chronicle his rich and tumultuous life and serve as a justification of his aesthetic philosophy. But when the project grew to 'impossible' lengths, his publisher (Little, Brown) insisted on many cuts and changes to keep it to its deadline and to a manageable length. The result was a version published in English in 1924, which Stanislavski hated and completely revised for a Soviet edition that came out in 1926.
Now, for the first time, translator Jean Benedetti brings us Stanislavski's complete unabridged autobiography as the author himself wanted it – from the re-edited 1926 version. The text, in clear and lively English, is supplemented by a wealth of photos and illustrations, many previously unpublished.
'This wise and delightful book … is packed with sage, practical counsel to actors and actresses.' – The Times Literary Supplement
'The Stanislavski system of acting is good. What is better is the Stanislavski philosophy of art that believes in the infinitude of man … Even those who are not primarily interested in acting will find in Stanislavski's writing an extraordinary illumination of art.' – The New York Times
"This vibrant translation assures that Staniskavski's memoir will be appreciated by a wide audience of Anglophone readers… Highly Recommended." – CHOICE