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Building a Character

Building a Character by Constantin Stanislavski Building a Character
Your Price: $33.95 CDN
Author: Constantin Stanislavski
Publisher: Theatre Arts Books
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 207
Pub. Date: 1989
ISBN-10: 0878309829
ISBN-13: 9780878309825

About the Book:

Stanislavski's groundbreaking acting system, The Method developed from his work in the Moscow Art Theater and acknowledged the world over, found its greatest success in America where its methods have been used for over fifty years by the Actor's Studio in New York.

Building a Character, the second volume in Stanislavski's acclaimed trilogy, continues the total immersion in technique and class scenarios begun in An Actor Prepares. The work unfolds in a drama school with a group of young actors: the argumentative Grisha; the pretty, vain Sonia; her admirer, the clowning Vanya; and Kostya, the diarist who records the daily lessons. The teacher and director Tortsov is modeled on Stanislavski.

The emphasis in the second book is to continue to challenge the imagination of the actors, encouraging them to act out the deepest expressions of human nature and find their highest potential. Here, a new range of physical exercises is practiced with the goals of plasticity of motion, restraint and control, and making the body expressive. Stanislavski also delves into stage charm and character-building by focusing on diction and singing, intonation and pauses, and tempo-rhythm.

Stanislavski's aim is to help actors fill out their roles to the proportion of whole human beings, "characters who will have the power to move the public to laughter, to tears, to unforgettable emotions."

What people say:

"Indispensable for the actor, stimulating for the layman." — The Nation

"Any serious student of directing should read, well, everything. Of course, don't miss the standard texts, including Stanislavski's trilogy, An Actor Prepares, Building a Character, and Creating a Role (note the clever 'A, B, C' of the title sequence)." — Frank Hauser, legendary theatre director

"In [this book] Stanislavski, assuming the reader's familiarity with the 'inner technique', proceeds to study costume and the wearing of costume, bodily movement, voice, speech and the use of language, and tempo and rhythm — the more external but essential techniques whereby the actor learns to use his physical instrument … and he expounds them as only a master can; i.e., with the insight and authority of talent plus experience. Anyone who attempts to train actors or to direct plays will find here a great mine of practical wisdom, all informed by Stanislavski's grasp of the art itself." — Educational Theatre Journal

"The chapter on Diction and Singing offers an analysis of basic problems of singing that is unrivaled." — Musical America

About the Author:

Constantin Stanislavski (1863-1938), arguably the most influential director in the history of the theater, was the founder of the renowned Moscow Art Theater. A pioneer of psychological realism and improvisation on the stage, he devoted his life to developing the performance techniques now emulated throughout the world.

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