Strasberg and Scene Analysis
Several years before Stanislavsky understood the logical evolution of his discoveries and insights into how an actor and a director needs to analyze a play, what is today called active analysis, Lee Strasberg intuited Stanislavsky’s ultimate practice from his classes with Richard Boleslavsky and Maria Ouspenskaya at the American Laboratory Theatre in the mid-1920′s and effectively demonstrated in his legendary productions with the Group Theatre. The organic form of a truly acting and thus theatre-based rehearsal process is built on the use of rehearsed improvisations, called etudes by Stanislavsky. These etudes “actively” analyze and explore the dramatic action of the play – i.e., the given circumstances, events, facts, objectives, psycho-physiological-action, counteraction and adaptations or adjustments, the text-based means through which an actor builds a the playwright’s character. Before one can “actively analyze” a play one must know how to break its text into the bits of action that make up the actual play, which is “hidden” or embedded “sub textually” in the text. This is the architecture of acting and directing and the basic material of theatre. This class teaches the student the process of action analysis as the foundation of acting.
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