Category Archives: Constant Stanislavski


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)


I was convinced again that between the dreams of the stage director and their realization there is a tremendous difference, and that the theatre is first of all intended for the actor and cannot exist without him. . . . All my hopes were pinned [there] and on the development of a solid foundation for his creativeness and his technique. (MLIA)


It is no little task to carry over to the stage those principles which were created in painting, music, and the other arts that had gone so far ahead of us. Will the speaking voice ever be able to express those delicate nuances of emotion which are heard in the orchestra and its instruments? Will our material and definite body be able to take on the unexpected contours and lines we see in modern painting? (MLIA)


Perhaps [some] think that outward acting which does not come from inner experiences but simply from the eye and the ear, acting which is simply a photograph of the painting and the sound they have before them, is the real new principle of acting? It is easy to deceive ourselves in our sphere of art; it is easy to take craftmanlike theatrical emotion for the inspiration of the true artist. (MLIA)


In moments of inspiration, when, due to reasons unexplainable to us, one feels not the conception of the words themselves, but the deep meaning that is hidden in them, one finds the simplicity and nobility for which one has searched. In such minutes the voice reverberates and there is musicalness of speech. Whence does it come? That is a secret of nature. She alone can make use of the human apparatus as a talented virtuoso uses his musical instrument. She alone can draw a strong sound from the voiceless. (MLIA)