Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 November 2019
Stanislavsky’s directorial work from before the MAT covers a wide span of plays, artistic conceptions, collaborator input and approaches to directing. It is complicated by dual, then team, directing and not always clear divisions of labour; further, by the different phases of his ever-developing System and Stanislavsky’s increasing expectation that actors would be co-authors rather than dependents in the rehearsal and performance processes. These aspects are of core interest regarding his use of production ‘scores’, Stanislavsky’s word being crucial for the musical structures, tempi, rhythms and vocal patterns of his Chekhov and Gorky productions, and his integral use of scenography as an environment for acting.
He was to abandon this pre-planned method for the fluid director-actor collaboration that he sought after 1905, experimenting with form (Cain) and imaginative-physical capabilities and spontaneity of actors (The Marriage of Figaro). Stanislavsky, the director-pedagogue of the Opera-Dramatic Studio explored different paths to enable and free actors and actor-singers in the creative process, transforming his discoveries with the method of physical action into a new method of rehearsing. He asked as well what a school of directing and the profession of director could be.
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