DS1, is named after Konstantin Stanislavski, a Russian businessmen who developed a seven step technique in the early 1900s to help actors create believable emotions and actions in the characters they portray.
Born to one of Russia's wealthiest families on 5th January 1863 , Konstantin Alexeyev took up acting from an early age and his parents built him a theatre on the family estate when he was just 14. Aged 25, he adopted the stage name ‘Stanislavski’ to hide his performance activities from his parents as acting as a profession for a man of his social status was frowned upon, and in 1897 he started what was to be known as the 'Moscow Art Theatre’ with the playwright Vladimir Nemirovich Danchenko. This was a move away from the melodramatic Russian theatre of the time and move towards a more naturalistic approach to theatre; one where the actor shouldn’t only know what lines he needs to say and the motivation for those lines, but also every detail of that character’s life offstage as well as onstage.
Stanislavski experimented with the ability to maintain a character in real life, disguising himself as a tramp, a drunk or a gypsy and visiting the railway station or walking amongst the public. His system was based on a process of rigorous artistic self-analysis and reflection and he came to form the seven pillars for acting: Action, Imagination, Attention, Relaxation, Units and Objectives, Emotion Memory and Truthfulness. His famous texts include My Life in Art, An Actor’s Work on a Role, and An Actor Prepares and his theories were the basis for 'Method Acting’ which was adopted by the Americans from the 1930’s at the 'Group Theatre’. He died in August 1938 leaving behind a legacy that became the central force determining almost every performance we see on stage or screen.
"Love art in yourself, not yourself in art"
Ms M Holian