Exploring Practitioners Lesson 2: Stanislavski and Naturalism

Task 1

Watch this YouTube clip. You only need to watch the first 2 or 3 minutes of it. What type of theatre is it? What is good about this form of theatre? What is not so good about this form of theatre?

Task 2

Of course there is nothing wrong with the genre of Melodrama. It is great fun to so and perform. However, it lacks emotional realism. Something that Stanislavski wanted to move theatre on from. He felt that theatre should do more. He felt that theatre, if performed naturally, had the power to change an audience. To educate them through empathy and understanding. To do this he felt that his actors needed to fullly understand the character they are playing. That they would know the characters motivation, backstory and off stage life.

To help actors create a meaningful character he created a system of rehearsal that allowed actors to get to know and enter into the world of their character.

Find out more about The System by clicking here and then complete the table below.

Emotional Memory

Physical Actions


Given Circumstances

Magic If


Super Objective

Through Line of Action

You can download this worksheet here.

Task 3

Read this pitch for a production.

You have been asked to direct a production of a new devised piece of theatre based on the song: “Working Class Hero” by John Lennon. Click here to see the lyrics of the song and here to hear the song. We want the performance to focus on the issues that the song brings into focus. In particular we want to see how these issues impact individuals and their families.

Write your pitch now. It must be no more than half a page of A4 type or writing. It needs to cover the following points:

  1. Overview of your content: What topic or issue do you want to cover? Why do you want to cover it?
  2. Details of initial ideas: How do you think that this will be performed? What ideas do you initially have to turn this into a performance?
  3. Style: How will you use Naturalism in your performance?
  4. Audience: Why would an audience be interested in coming to see this performance? What will they learn from it?

Task 4

With practical examples, write a 500 word essay which compares and contrasts the work of Stanislavski to the work of Brecht.