Realism's Effect on Chekhov and Stanislavsky, and their Influence on Theatre Today

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Realism played a huge role in the lives of Anton Chekhov and Konstantin Stanislavsky. Both men made a huge impact on the world of theatre, and results are still seen today. Elements from Chekhov’s plays have influenced playwrights that came after him, like the works of Tennessee Williams, who listed that Chekhov had a huge impact on his writing. Stanislavsky’s acting system, based on acting truthfully, inspired many other acting systems that are still used today. Realism was a huge movement in late 1800s to early 1900s. All art forms were influenced by it. Writers, artists, actors and more started taking a more simple direction and tried to depict life as it actually was. In visual art it was common to see ordinary people doing every day…show more content…
Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko and Konstantin Stanislavsky founded the Moscow Art Theatre on June 22, 1897, during an 18-hour luncheon at the Slavyanski Bazar (The Stanislavsky Century). The two had set out to reform Russian theatre and had the common goal in mind to create great art. Before they set their rules and regulations into place, none officially existed. Actors would show up either drunk or late and not have their lines learned. Stanislavsky and Nemirovich wanted a place where there would be discipline and respect and great art, thus the Moscow Art Theatre was born (The Stanislavsky Century). Konstantin Stanislavsky, himself, also practiced ideas of naturalism. He was a theatre practitioner and his roles served as actor and director, and he created the first acting method. He functioned as the artistic director of the Moscow Art Theatre. In A Sourcebook for Naturalist Theatre, there was a comparative statement to Chekhov and Stanislavsky which read: “In addition to the concept of acting ‘truly’, the practical correlative to Chekhov’s aim of depicting life ‘as it really is’, this extract outlines one of the most important keys to Stanislavsky’s system: establishing objectives, which in terms of acting is the equivalent to the naturalists’ focus on motivation” (Innes 54). Stanislavsky wrote three novels that discuss his acting method; An Actor Prepares, Building a Character, and Creating a Role. These books are from the perspective of a

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