The Stanislavsky System for Character and Period Styles: A Practical Guide

Overview

(Limelight). This book is a must for all professional and student actors, and for acting teachers as well. A concise, clear explanation of exactly how to create a character in plays of any period, using the Stanislavsky system. Known for his detailed approach to the art of acting and for the authenticity of his historical productions, Stanislavsky believed that actors should immerse themselves completely in the era in which a play or film is set. The chapters provide inspiring cultural, social, and historical introductions to the periods from

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Overview

(Limelight). This book is a must for all professional and student actors, and for acting teachers as well. A concise, clear explanation of exactly how to create a character in plays of any period, using the Stanislavsky system. Known for his detailed approach to the art of acting and for the authenticity of his historical productions, Stanislavsky believed that actors should immerse themselves completely in the era in which a play or film is set. The chapters provide inspiring cultural, social, and historical introductions to the periods from ancient Greece through the end of World War Two. Each chapter covers the way men and women moved, stood, and sat in the clothing they wore; the use of accessories such as fans, swords, snuffboxes, gloves, and hats; greetings, bows, and curtsies; table manners; and the etiquette, civility, and automatic habits of thinking and of social intercourse depending on social class. All these things that people took for granted as the background of their lives, as part of their conscious and unconscious mental world, are the essential components of building a character with real, organic behavior associated with a specific era. Literature, music, painting, and other graphic arts are all discussed as well, and the sections on films and television programs, as well as bibliographies of books and recordings, will guide your further research.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879103569
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation
  • Publication date: 4/15/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 390
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     ix
The Stanislavsky System
Introduction: The Great Debate: To Be or Not to Be     3
Understanding the System: Basic Principles and Acting Techniques     17
Using the System: Script and Character Analysis; the Method of Physical Actions     31
Doing Period Styles
Introduction: Style Is Behavior     61
The Beginning of European Theater: Athens and Rome     75
The Medieval Period: Chivalry and the Dark Ages     105
The Sixteenth Century: The Renaissance and William Shakespeare     131
The Seventeenth Century: The Conflict of Absolutism and Liberty     167
The Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth Centuries: The Enlightenment and Regency Periods     209
From the Mid-Nineteenth to the Mid-Twentieth Century: The Age of Technology     277
Index of People     359
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2008

    an absolutely essential addition to any actor's library

    As a young acting student years ago, I read and reread the work of Stanislavsky and found it truly relevatory: I used my feelings to bring the actor's words and actions to life. Now that I have gone from actor to historical novelist, I understand one must know the period well in which the play is set....but that is a daunting task for actors who are not historians. Where do you begin? 'Using the Stanislavsky System' is an amazingly rich overview of historic periods from the ancient Greek through the 20th century and the cultural, intellectual, moral, spiritual, sociological and economic realities of daily life. How would you carry yourself if you were a young girl in 1300 whose virginity was her most precious possession? How would the complexity of your hair arrangement and your clothing affect your walk? What songs or prayers ran through your head? How did what you ate affect your body? What was your relationship with God? Reading a relevant section of this book will give you a very good idea, but even more, the author suggests hundreds of movies, period diaries, period literature, novels, and history books to help you understand the feelings and actions of an Elizabethan actor, an 18th century English parson, a Victorian upper middle class woman. This is the book to own to begin period character creation and the author's further directions for enriching that character are so thorough that you may walk out on stage as truly another person who lived centuries before and make his life and world come intensely to life before your audience. I am also recommending this book to writers of historical fiction. Stephanie Cowell, author of MARRYING MOZART and THE PLAYERS: A NOVEL OF THE YOUNG SHAKESPEARE

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