Konstantin Sergeyevich Stanislavsky (17 January 1863 – 7 August 1938) was a Russian actor and theatre director. The Stanislavsky system, better known though not synonymous with the "Method", became a dominant force in film acting, especially in the period after World War II.
Stanislavsky treated theatre-making as a serious endeavour requiring dedication, discipline and integrity. Throughout his life, he subjected his own acting to a process of rigorous artistic self-analysis and reflection. His development of a theorized praxis—in which practice is used as a mode of inquiry and theory as a catalyst for creative development—identifies him as one of the great modern theatre practitioners.
Stanislavsky's work was as important to the development of socialist realism in the Soviet Union as it was to that of psychological realism in the United States. It draws on a wide range of influences and ideas, including his study of the modernist and avant-garde developments of his time (naturalism, symbolism and Meyerhold's constructivism), Russian formalism, Yoga, Pavlovian behavioural psychology, James-Lange (via Ribot) psychophysiology and the aesthetics of Pushkin, Gogol, and Tolstoy. He described his approach as 'spiritual Realism'. Stanislavsky wrote several works, including An Actor Prepares, An Actor's Work on a Role, and his autobiography, My Life in Art...
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