Stanislavsky: Founder of Modern Acting
The Russian theatre director Konstantin Stanislavsky who is the greatest single influence on acting today.
It was at the Moscow Art Theatre from the 1890’s onwards that Stanislavsky developed an innovative acting system that demanded actors really inhabit the role they are playing. This then inspired Method acting, which originated in the United States, and whose disciples range from Marlon Brando to Marilyn Monroe to the majority of big stars around the world today - some of whom have taken the system to an alarming extreme. This programme explores Stanislavsky's life and legacy, and also asks if his work has a role outside the theatre. Joining Bridget Kendall are Maria Shevtsova, Professor of Drama at Goldsmiths University of London, the Russian theatre historian Dr Arkady Ostrovsky, and the actor and director Bella Merlin.
Photo: Anton Chekhov, in the centre of the picture, reading his play 'The Seagull' with theatre director Stanislavsky on Chekhov's right. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)