An Actor Prepares

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Routledge, Apr 28, 1989 - Performing Arts - 344 pages
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This work is the first volume of Stanislavski's trilogy on the art of acting; it explains the art of acting in semi-fiction form. Fusing psychological realism and expressionism, his exploratory exercises teach actors to evoke past emotions that draw out their vulnerability. Stanislavski here introduces such concepts as the "magic if," "emotion memory," the "unbroken line" and many more now famous rehearsal aids. This classic manual is written from the viewpoint of fictional actors taking lessons from a director (based on Stanislavski). Through the student's mistakes, questions, revelations, and struggles, Stanislavski teaches the actor about the stage, truth, and life itself.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RKC-Drama - LibraryThing

An Actor Prepares is the most famous acting training book ever to have been written and the work of Stanislavski has inspired generations of actors and trainers. This edition, now reprinted with a new ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - RKC-Drama - LibraryThing

In "An Actor Prepares", Stanislavski deals with the inward preparation an actor must undergo in order to explore a role to the its full. He introduces the concepts of the 'magic of' units and ... Read full review


1 The First Test
2 When Acting Is an Art
3 Action
4 Imagination
5 Concentration of Attention
6 Relaxation of Muscles
7 Units and Objectives
8 Faith and a Sense of Truth
10 Communion
11 Adaptation
12 Inner Motive Forces
13 The Unbroken Line
14 The Inner Creative State
15 The SuperObjective
16 On the Threshold of the Subconscious

9 Emotion Memory

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About the author (1989)

Constantin Stanislavski (1863-1938), arguably the most influential director in the history of the theater, was the founder of the renowned Moscow Art Theater. A pioneer of psychological realism and improvisation on the stage, he devoted his life to developing the performance techniques now emulated throughout the world.

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