Constantin Stanislavski (1863-1938) was born into a wealthy Russian family who took part in the acting scene. Stanislavski was then shown the ropes at an early age when he joined a family friend’s theatre group. Stanislavski was an renowned practitioner of the naturalist school of thought. He developed the “Stanislavski System’ other wise known as “The Method’. The most fundamental principle of Stanislavski’s teaching is that the actor must live the life of the character that he is portraying, he must learn to think like the character and behave like the character, to become the character both physically and mentally. This, he believed, is the only way to achieve total realism. The actor must also extend this exercise of imagination to include the costumes that he wears, the articles that are in the set and the props that are used. If there is a prop then he must invent a history of where it was bought, by who and how it has come to be in this particular location, therefore completing the imaginary world which will then contribute to his performance In addition, to achieve this Stanislavski said, “the actor must first of all believe in everything that takes place onstage, and most all, he must believe what he is doing. To give substance to his ideas, Stanislavski studied how people act in everyday life and how they communicated feelings and emotions; and then he found a way to portray the same things onstage. He developed a series of exercises and techniques for the performer which had the following aims: 1) To make the outward behavior of the performer – gestures, voice, and the rhythm of movements- natural and convincing. 2) To have the actor or actress convey the goals and objectives-the inner needs of a character. 3) Even if all the visible signs of a character are mastered, a performance will appear superficial and mechanical without a deep sense of conviction and belief. 4) To make the life of the chara…
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