Category Archives: Constant Stanislavski


Perhaps in our art there exists only one correct path—the line of the intuition of feelings! And out of it grow unconsciously the outer and inner images, their form, the idea and the technique of the role. The line of intuition at times absorbs into itself all the other lines and grasps all the spiritual and physical contents of the role and the play. (MLIA)


I only had to assume the manners and habits [of the character], on the stage or off, and in my soul there were born the feelings and perceptions that had given them birth. In this manner, intuition not only created the image, but its passions also. They became my own organically, or, to be more true, my own passions became the [character’s]. And during this process I felt the greatest joy an artist can feel, the right to speak on the stage the thoughts of another, to surrender myself to the passions of another, to perform another’s actions, as if they were my own. (MLIA)



I sincerely sympathized with Stockman (“The Enemy of the People”) and understood his feelings when his eyes saw the rotten souls of the men who had once been his friends. I feared in those moments—for Stockman or for myself—I don’t remember. I felt and understood that with each succeeding scene I became more and more lonely, and when, at the end of the performance I at last stood alone, the final sentence of the play “He is the strongest who stands alone” seemed to beg for utterance by its own power. (MLIA)


In those days (1905) “The Enemy of the People” (Ibsen) had not only artistic but social meaning and was to a great extent the expression of the time. It is not remarkable that the play at once came under the surveillance of the censor and the police. Not a single performance took place without ovations that resembled demonstrations. (MLIA)


Naturalism on the stage is only naturalism when it is justified by the inner experience of the actor. Once naturalism is justified, it either becomes necessary (especially in Tolstoy’s plays, for Tolstoy loves things and the details of human life more than all other authors) or it is simply unnoticed, thanks to the inner display of the emotions of the actor and the complete mixing of inner and outer life. I would advise all theoreticians who do not know this from their own experience to see their words justified on the stage itself, as I did. (MLIA)


We studied the buildings, and made plans of them, of the natural geography and topography of the courtyards, barns, outhouses, and main structures of the estate. We studied the customs, the marriage ceremonies, the run of everyday life, the details of husbandry. We brought back with us from the village clothes, shirts, short overcoats, dishes, furniture. Not only that—we also brought two living specimens of the village life with us, an old man and an old woman. (MLIA)


The spectator would not be bored in looking at us and listening to us; he would find it pleasant to believe us all of the time, for the spiritual content of Gorky and of ourselves would justify and round out the tendential parts of the play and the empty moments of the performance, which, under other circumstances, might become specifically theatrical stuffing and nothing else. (MLIA)