Introduction to Stanislavski

Created by Drama Teacher Academy

This is an in-depth unit with instruction and activities about the Stanislavski acting method. It is followed by scene work in which students learn how to score a scene, do a comprehensive character analysis, and use what they have learned in rehearsals in a performance. Students will also watch their own work and evaluate their process after the performance.

The purpose of this unit is to give students an introduction and understanding of Stanislavski’s method and to put it into use as they prepare scenes for performance. After seeing their work, and spending time reflecting on how they used the principles of the method, students should take away a concrete understanding of how to prepare a role for performance.

The overview lays out the objective, lesson format, time management and activity choices for the unit.
1: Stanislavski and "The Method"
Students will be introduced to the history and background of Stanislavski, the Method of Physical Action and why he developed the method as a way of playing a character. Moving on, students will be introduced to the principles and techniques of the method. Students will also receive the scene they will work on for the entire unit.
2: Exploring Principles of The Method
Students will engage in activities to help them further their understanding of the principles of Stanislavski’s Method.
3: Analyzing the Play and Given Circumstances
This lesson marks the shift from working on exercises to working directly on the scenes. Students will revisit their scenes and do some preliminary analysis about the plot, style, and main ideas of the plays these scenes come from. They will learn about given circumstances and their importance. Students will complete a character analysis in order to give them information about the given circumstances of their character to use in scene work.
4: Scoring the Script and Actions
Students will get more instruction in scoring their scene. They will first define a super objective for their character, then break down the scene into beats. They will learn about defining those beats with compelling active verbs which should translate into strong actions and interesting acting choices in rehearsal.
5: Rehearsals
Students will put into action the Stanislavski principles, superobjective, and scene scores as they rehearse their scenes for performance. In these classes students will work through planning, blocking, specific details, a line check, and a final runthrough before the performance.
6: Performance and Evaluation
Students will demonstrate their knowledge of everything they have learned through scene performance. They will watch the scenes afterward to self-evaluate. An optional quiz is provided.

Standards Addressed

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