Stanislavski and postmodernism

Stephenson, Graham (2012). Stanislavski and postmodernism. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.


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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: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of Drama and Theatre Arts
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Newman University, Birmingham, UK
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater


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