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 of course, Marilyn Monroe. (Read 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 Juilet Binoche.
During the 1960s and 70s over 200 Academy
award winners and nominees were members of the Actors
Studio or students of Lee Strasberg.
Other important names connected with Method Acting and Stanislavsky are Robert Lewis,
Harold Clurman and the incredible Stella Adler, all of whom were inspired by Stanislavsky's personal search for truth and wonderment at the mystery of the human spirit.
Method Acting is an excellent way to learn about dramatic acting, however
I don't believe dramatic acting is a paint-by-numbers activity. Dramatic acting is like rapping... talent, the blues, a hero, a mentor, luck and time are essential.
Techniques and insights from Uta Hagen, Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler,
Eleanora Duse and Peter
Brook had a big influence on me and so it follows, they are also a big part of my class. SM
For more details please click here to read
Shelley Mitchell's essay 'Demystifying the Method'.
"You can learn more in one of
Shelley's classes about improving yourself as an actor than
you can in a year with ACT or Berkeley classes. There is a
level of honesty and trust in her class which literally takes
your breath away. Combine this with Shelley's extremely accomplished,
astute and always constructive skill as an acting teacher
and you get, in my opinion, the best acting class in the Bay
Area." (click here for more
"...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."
Each 3 hour class is divided into two parts. The first part
focuses on your instrument; development of concentration, relaxation
and emotional response to imaginary situations. The techniques
used to facilitate this are the Sense Memory Exercises, kind of like improv with a dramatic spin on it.
These exercises can be used as basic building blocks for an actor
as well as being practical tools for use in performance.
--The second part of the class focuses on scripted work, improv and scene work.
Germany, Iceland, France, Ecuador, Native American, Sweden,
Canada, Australia, South Africa, Malaysia, Taiwan, Philippines,
Mexico, Spain, Liberia, Brazil, Israel, New Zealand, Mexico,
England, Russia, Croatia, Norway, Romania, Korea, Japan, Italy,
Ireland, Finland, India, Hungary, Holland, Argentina, Turkey, Holland and China.
Corporate Coaching and How To Give A TED-worthy Presentation click here:
Rita Moreno & Shelley Mitchell photo by