Acting Stanislavski: A Practical Guide to Stanislavski's Approach and Legacy

Author(s): John Gillett


To experience or to pretend? Stanislavski was the first to outline a systematic approach for using our experience, imagination and observation to create truthful acting. One hundred and fifty years after his birth, his approach is more widely embraced and taught throughout the world - but is still often rejected, misunderstood and misapplied. In Acting Stanislavski, John Gillett offers a clear and accessible but comprehensive and insightful step-by-step account of Stanislavski's whole approach from the actor's training to final performance: . ease and focus . the nature of action, interaction and objectives . the imaginary reality, senses and feeling . active analysis of text . physical and vocal expression of character . the actor in the context of training and the industry. He draws on Stanislavski's major books, in both English translations, and on records of his directing process and final studio classes, and demystifies terms and concepts. It is for actors from an actor's point of view, and offers many practical exercises and examples as an integrated part of each subject.
Acting Stanislavski also elucidates Stanislavski's approach and creates an up-to-date overview by connecting with his legacy and successors, from Michael Chekhov to Meisner, Adler and Strasberg. This is a fully updated and revised new edition with added exercises and biographies, a new chapter on The character, and many new additions to other chapters and the Glossary: an essential practical and educational resource for any acting student, professional or teacher.


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Acting Stanislavski is an inspiring and technically thorough practical book for actors. It sets down a systematic and coherent process for organic, Stanislavski-based acting.

A manual full of enabling, easing exercises - it will enable you to analyse any scene. The cry of the actor at sea, 'I don't know what I'm doing,' should, with this book, become a thing of the past. Sam West, Actor and Director I'd recommend this book to anyone wanting an introduction to Stanislavksi or Michael Chekhov or acting in general. Matt Peover, LAMDA trainer and theatre director. Contains all the important things that need to be said about learning to act ... in an extremely logical and sensible manner Simon Dunmore, Editor, Actors Yearbook It sets the record straight in terms of what Stanislavski was actually about. Its invaluable. Marina Calderone, co-author 'ACTIONS, The Actor's Thesaurus' This is an excellent book - one of the best of its kind that I have read. John Gillett's book is way out in front in that it offers both scholarship and really sound practical strategies Annie Tyson, acting tutor at RADA and Drama Centre If an actor was to have just one book on the process of acting on their shelf it should be this one Edda Sharpe, co-author of 'How To Do Accents'

John Gillett trained as an actor in the Stanislavski and Michael Chekhov techniques between 1969-71 and has worked widely as an actor in repertory, touring, small-scale and London theatre, radio, film and television. He has directed and taught acting in drama schools, was Head of the Post Graduate Acting Course at East 15 Acting School, and helped to run two theatre companies and acting training for professional actors. He is a member of Equity, and his website is

Acknowledgements; Foreword - by Sam West; Introduction - Acting in context; Part 1 Starting from nothing; Chap 1 Awareness; Chap 2 Ease and focus; Part 2 Imagination and action - creating the foundations; Chap 3 Acting in circumstances; Chap 4 Acting with others; Chap 5 What do I want?; Part 3 Developing the imaginary reality - images, sensing, feeling; Chap 6 Imagining the action; Chap 7 Sensing; Chap 8 Feeling; Chap 9 Atmosphere - the objective feeling; Part 4 Exploring text and character; Chap 10 Meeting the play; Chap 11 Meeting the character; Part 5 Creating the life of the role; Chap 12 Discovering the action - active analysis; Chap 13 Embodiment - physical expression of the character; Chap 14 Refining the role; Chap 15 The character; Part 5 Beyond the role; Chap 16 Acting ethics; Chap 17 Working together; Chap 18 An open conclusion; Diagrammatic map of the organic acting process; Glossary; Selected bibliography; Index

General Fields

  • : 9781408184981
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Methuen Drama
  • : January 2014
  • : 234mm X 156mm
  • : March 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : John Gillett
  • : Paperback
  • : 344
  • : 20