January 01, 2013

Stanislavsky at 150

Born 150 years ago this month, on January 5, 1863, Konstantin Stanislavsky not only revolutionized Russian theater, but his teachings have had a profound and lasting affect on theater, film and society all over the world.


Until the middle of the twentieth century, caricatures of American actors commonly depicted a histrionic performer with one hand on his breast and the other extended toward the balcony while he declaimed, "To be or not to be." Then, around the 1950s, this cartoon image gave way to another: that of a jittery mumbler in a t-shirt who confided his words to his chest.

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