The theater is a spiritual and social x-ray of its time.
The term 'Method Acting' originated around 1900 with techniques pioneered
by Russian actor/director Constantine Stanislavsky. It took root in the United States through the efforts of many actors and teachers, most notably The Group Theater and the Actors Studio, both headed by Lee Strasberg.
Mainstream media caught on to Method Acting during the 1950s with the films of Elia
Kazan and the revolutionary acting styles of Marlon Brando,
Shelley Winters, Paul Newman, Eva Maria Saint, James Dean
and Marilyn Monroe. (recommended reading: Martin Scorsese's recent blogpost on Rebel Without A Cause)
In the 1960s and 70s it became associated
with the work of Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel, Al Pacino,
Dustin Hoffman, Steve McQueen, Sally Field,
Faye Dunaway, Jane Fonda and Ellen Burstyn. Today it's often mentioned in reference to the work of Daniel Day Lewis, Sean Penn, Charleze Theron, Nicole Kidman, Kate Winslett, Johnny Depp, Bradley Cooper and Juliette Binoche.
During the 1960s and 70s over 200 Academy
award winners and nominees were members of the Actors
Studio or students of either Lee Strasberg or Stella Adler..
Other important names connected with Method Acting and Stanislavsky are Robert Lewis,
Harold Clurman and Sanford Meisner, all of whom were part of the Group Theater and inspired by Stanislavsky's personal search for truth and meaning.
Eleonora Duse was the innovator of a technique she described as "the elimination of self". Akin to the Buddhist ideas of non-attachment and mindfulness, she writes that her technique allowed her to internally connect with the character she was portraying and free her spirit from mind and ego so that emotional expression could take over. I believe her work and knowledge of her achievement is vitally important and an incredible role model to anyone who feels the calling to become a dramatic actor. --SM
Click here to read Shelley Mitchell's essay 'Demystifying the Method'.
"Acting is a female art form." Dustin Hoffman
"...I don't think of film and theater
as very different. Acting is acting - it's all interconnected
and all coming from life in some way and going back to it."-SEAN PENN
• Sense Memory
• Scene Study
• Script Analysis
• Dramatic Improv
• Comedy 'Method' Acting
• Applied Kinesiology (for stress reduction, goal-setting and concentration)
Each 3 hour class with Shelley Mitchell covers two main areas:
• development of the actor's instrument
• scene work.
Developing the actor's instrument means having the courage to be deeply human and self-aware, having the ability to concentrate and focus with ease, and having the ability to relax and respond to emotional stimuli with ease. The techniques
I use to facilitate this are Sense Memory Exercises, Touch for Health Kinesiology, Laban movement and Comedy Method Acting.
Scene Work focuses on presenting scenes, script analysis, character development, understanding beats and grasping the author's intent.
If you would like to audit the class e-mail or call (424) 209-9822
Corporate Coaching here: ShelleyMitchellTraining.com
Rita Moreno & Shelley Mitchell photo by