Born: Constantin Sergeyevich Alekseyev 1863–1938

The granddaddy of modern acting methods in America and Russia. Russian theatrical director, teacher, and actor. Cofounder with Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko of the Moscow Art Theater in 1898, which he would remain associated with for remainder of life.

As a director, he stressed ensemble acting as well as complete coordination of all phases of production. His outstanding productions included many of the plays of Anton Chekhov, in which he tried to strip away rhetorical clichés to enter the emotional core and complex psychology of the characters.

Stanislavski stressed the importance of the actor’s inner identification with the character and the actor’s natural use of body and voice. His training, now termed the Stanislavski Method, or method acting, had a vast influence on modern schools of acting. In New York City The Actors’ Studio adapted many of his ideas to their use.


  • An Actor Prepares (tr. 1936)
  • Building a Character (tr. 1950)
  • Creating a Role (tr. 1961)
  • My Life in Art (tr. 1924) autobiography

Studies on Stanislavski:

  • biography by E. Polyakova (1982)
  • studies by C. Edwards
  • The Stanislavski Heritage (1965),
  • Sonia Moore: The Stanislavksi System (1974)
  • N. Gorchakov Stanislavski Directs (1968, repr. 1974).