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Stanislavski and postmodernism

Stephenson, Graham (2012)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The dissertation considers the extent to which Stanislavski's 'System' is still useful to performers today, working in a postmodern context. It draws on textual sources and evidence from interviews to explore this question, and also considers Stanislavski's work in relation to four of his contemporaries – Vsevolod Meyerhold, Evgeny Vakhtangov, Mikhail Chekhov and Bertolt Brecht. Philip Auslander's argument, drawing upon the ideas of Jacques Derrida, that Stanislavski's approach is logocentric is considered in detail, looking at questions of the Self, Identity, Memory and Imagination. Hans Theiss Lehmann's argument that contemporary theatre is 'postdramatic' is also explored, as are some of the ideas behind such contemporary practitioners as Willem Dafoe of The Wooster Group and Tim Etchells of Forced Entertainment. The dissertation argues that whilst certain aspects of the System may no longer be appropriate or useful for particular kinds of postmodern, or postdramatic work, there nevertheless is a basic coherence and integrity of approach within the System as a whole - the goal of which is what Stanislavski calls 'the Creative State' - which gives it the potential to transcend some of its apparent limitations and makes it still useful today.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Whyman, Rose
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Drama and Theatre Studies
Subjects:B Philosophy (General)
NX Arts in general
PN0080 Criticism
PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3321
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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