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Stanislavski Essay

* Realistic theatre has been dominant for the past 100 years, on cinema and stage. * The idea is to create believable characters and situations and t=give the illusion of real life * It makes the audience believe what they see/hear and become involved in the play * This style evolved during the twentieth century, moving to selective realism (focus on particular characters and events) and magical realism (similar to realism but with magical/supernatural elements involved). * The movement of realism in theatre began in the 19th century to move away from melodrama. Stanislavski started this through he creation of his own theatre company. * Born in Moscow 17th Jan 1863

* Well educated as a child and often went to the opera and theatre. Took his name as Stanislavski in a amateur theatre in 1885 * Joined a group and directed/acted in plays, did not enjoy melodrama as much * He met with a successful playwright to discuss ways of changing theatre and as a result the Moscow arts theatre was created. * Its production were famous and a success.

* In 1906, Stanislavski also began to develop a system to train actors, in 1912 set up a studio to experiment with these techniques and continued this for the rest of his life. * The Moscow arts theatre toured Europe and Stanislavski work was known worldwide. * He suffered a heart attack while acting and gave up acting, instead focusing on training actors and writing books on his techniques. * He died in Moscow on 7th august 1938. Most influential director developed a whole style of staging and acting that worked. * He experimented with himself and actors to develop his work and performers. Teaching them to observe and exercise their creativity.

* “Theatre of living experience”- actors had to believe everything happening on stage and what they were doing. Actors needed to have self-control and intensive training. * Aims of the techniques were all the same: develop creative intelligence, complete self-discipline, control over their voice, diction and physical movement and experience and create human emotions. * Insisted that the actors made their own techniques too * He was extremely dedicated and demanded the same of his actors, made them repeat scenes if they were not real enough. * Had integrity and was willing to accept ideas and techniques but only did what he believed in. * Refused to do propaganda plays, even if it meant death. However he was rewarded, as they believed his almost scientific experimenting fitted with communist theory. He was honoured well I his own country.

Grotowski * Transformation: mixture of realism, surrealism and ideological theatre. Actors transform themselves and the space representing not just characters but the entire context of the play: location, sound, and the whole world of drama. Actors transform the imagination of the audience by changing themselves on stage. * Experimented with Artaud’s techniques, shock and mesmerise the audience and Brecht’s epic theatre, strong political and social messages through narration, actors changing orles and simple objects to signify sets and locations. * Born in Poland. Setup a theatre in 1959 to study the way theatre worked, experimenting with staging and acting.

* Through 1960s and 70s the company had brief tours overseas making his theatre and techniques world famous. In 1976 he moved away from acting and directing and worked with small groups to develop self-awareness and self-realisation using his techniques. * Even though he moved away from mainstream theatre, his contribution has been enormous and his training techniques and the most demanding and intensive. He also revolutionised directing and staging. * Grotowski always knew that theatre could not compete with v and films complex technical equipment. He eliminated these from his theatre and created a theatre of poverty where the important elements were the actors themselves and their relationship with the audience.

* To make the relationship more intense, he abandoned traditional theatre building style and stage his plays in old buildings with small audiences. The actors and audience had to share the space. * He aimed to do what v and film could not and that was to bring the audience face-to-face with living characters and live action. He directed the plays so that the actors were all around the audience and sometimes in their personal space. * There was failure in trying the physically involve the audience. Instead he arranged the space to make the audience completely involved as possible. * The plays he directed dealt with important issues and in many of the productions, the protagonist was a Christ-like figure, tormented and crucified. He made the audience confronted with terrible questions. He said that the spectators of his show were researching for the truth about themselves and their purpose in life. * Often he would direct plays just to test out his new techniques.


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