Careers: Acting, Performing, Directing/Method vs. Classical
Kenneth, I have been reading some of the work of Constantin Stanislavski and was wondering what the difference was between method and classical acting and if it truly matters for an student of acting to choose between the two. Thanks!
Hi Mike. Well, your question mixes terms a bit, and that is one of the problems one faces when discussing ways to approach acting. The words 'Method' and 'Classical' mean different things to different people. Stanislavsky's work was based on his estalishing a more realistic style of acting than had been the norm in Russia at the turn of the 19th to 20th Century. Method acting was an American interpretation of Stanislavsky's work, and it was created between 1930 and 1960 by various members of the Group Theatre. Classical acting could be that of the Claslsic Greek period, or it could be that of the Renaissance period. We usually speak of Classic theatre being that before 1880, although there was a mixing of approaches during the latter part of the 19th C. Now, it is not necessary for a student actor to choose one approach over another. Usually students of acting study several approaches to theatre and acting, and as they gain experience on stage they develop their own approach gleaned from the many that they have studied. Nowadays, many actors have moved beyond the 20th C approaches to acting (such as the Method). I encourage you to go to my web site (www://tao-of-acting.org) and read my free ebook and articles about acting on the site. God bless, Doc