Category Archives: Constant Stanislavski


I came to understand that creativeness begins from that moment when in the soul and the imagination of the actor there appears the magical, creative if. . . that is, the imagined truth, which the actor can believe as sincerely and with greater enthusiasms than he believes practical truth, just as the child believes in the existence of its doll and of all life in it and around it. (MLIA)



(Dan Meyer’s article Appeared on Playbill, 9/3.)

Check out these reads before heading to class this semester.

Now that the school year is here, it’s time for students to put down their summer beach reads and get back into their academic reading lists. To help narrow down the many choices for incoming theatre majors, Playbill has selected thirteen books essential for any budding artist.

Head to the (virtual) book store or library with these titles below, arranged in alphabetical order.

An Actor Prepares
By Constantin Stanislavsky
Originally written in the 1930s, this is the one of the first modern day books on performance, and it remains crucial for students to this day. Using a system the performer-director developed on his own, Stanislavsky provides a primer on training, preparation, and technique. Republished in 2011 by Read Books.

The Art and Craft of Playwriting
By Jeffrey Hatcher
Featuring interviews with American playwrights Lee Blessing, Marsha Norman, and José Rivera, Hatcher examines what it takes to make a well-written story in the theatre today from character development and setting up a scene to building suspense and getting a character across the stage. Republished in 2000 from Writer’s Digest Books.

The Director’s Craft: A Handbook for the Theatre
By Katie Mitchell
A step-by-step guide on directing perfect for beginners or those looking for a refresher, Mitchell explains how to helm stage works with a steady hand. In addition, the book looks at challenges directors often face and provides some solutions. Published in 2008 by Routledge.

A Director Prepares: Seven Essays on Art and Theatre
By Anne Bogart
In this look at theatre directing, Bogart presents seven aspects of storytelling that can be considered both a partner and an obstacle to success: violence, memory, terror, eroticism, stereotype, embarrassment, and resistance. Published in 2001 by Routledge.

(Read more)



The actor must first of all believe in everything that takes place on the stage, and most of all he must believe in what he himself is doing. And one can believe only in the truth. Therefore it is necessary to feel this truth at all times, to know how to find it, and for this it is unescapable to develop one’s artistic sensitivity to truth. (MLIA)


The more the actor wishes to amuse his audience, the more the audience will sit in comfort waiting to be amused, . . . not even trying to play its part in the play on the stage before it.  But as soon as the actor stops being concerned with the audience, the latter begins to watch the actor.  It is especially so when the actor is occupied in something serious and interesting. (MLIA)



I felt so pleasantly and comfortably on the stage because . . . [I] centered my attention on the perceptions and states of my body, at the same time drawing my attention away from what was happening on the other side of the footlights, in the auditorium beyond the black and terrible hole of the proscenium arch. In what I was doing I ceased to be afraid of the audience, and at times forgot that I was on the stage. I noticed that it was especially at such times that my creative mood was most pleasant. (MLIA)


In Duse, Yermolova, Fedotova, Savina, Salvini, Chaliapin, Rossi, as well as in the actors of our Theatre when they appeared to best advantage in their roles, I felt the presence of something that was common to them all, something by which they reminded me of each other. What was this quality, common to all great talents? It was easiest of all for me to notice this likeness in their physical freedom, in the lack of all strain. Their bodies were at the call and beck of the inner demands of their wills. (MLIA)


When I asked one of the journalists how they produced such remarkable critics, I was told of a very clever and purposeful method used in Germany. They let a young critic, he told me, always write an article full of praise. Any one could blame a thing, but it took a specialist to praise it. (MLIA)