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Stanislavski and Contemporary Russian Actor’s Training

17th January 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Konstantin Sergeyevich Alexeyev, who later adopted the stage name Konstantin Stanislavski.

His early interest in creating a more “realistic” style of acting on stage later led to Stanislavski becoming one of the most significant and influential figures in the development of the contemporary theatre: he co-founded the Moscow Art Theatre in 1898, and embarked on a professional career as actor, director and producer, and later concentrated on teaching, founding a number of “studios” for the training of stage actors.

Stanislavski developed his famous “system” of actor training, which has impacted on virtually every approach to stage performance in the Western Theatre. Focusing on such aspect as “emotion memory” and “the method of physical action”, Stanislavski’s “system” fundamentally influenced the development of “The Method” in the United States, which, in turn shaped an entire approach to film and television acting which we can still see today.

In this talk Prof.Tcherkasski’s analysis of the history of Stanislavski’s different approaches and the logic of his System’s development will serve as a basis for a discussion of the modern approach to actor training.

Sergei Tcherkasski is Head of the Acting Studio at the renowned St. Petersburg Theater Arts Academy (established in 1779). He holds Ph.D. for his research into director’s education in the Russian theater school. His second (D.Sc.) dissertation clarified the lines of succession of Stanislavski’s ideas in the international theatre of the 20th century (Stanislavski – Boleslavsky – Method Acting). His international directing credits include Great Catherine by G.B.Shaw and Duck Hunting by Vampilov at RADA , General Inspector by Gogol at The National Theatre of Romania and Flight by Bulgakov at NIDA (Australia).

A series of lectures accompanies the exhibition:

Tuesday 5th February our final event on , Professor David Bate, who is Professor of Photography at The University of Westminster, a critically acclaimed photographer, author and co-editor of the journal, Photographies, will examine the role that photography plays in documenting theatre practice, and the ways in which theatre and photography inter-act. This is a unique opportunity to celebrate the life and work of one of the most important theatre practitioners of modern times and to explore the impact of Stanislavski on Stage.

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