The Stanislavski System (Part 5)

Good actors are always aware of the other people on stage. They are aware that these other characters will also contribute to the scene they are in. They know that they must remain invested in the scene even when they have no lines at the moment. In this article, we will take a look at the last item on the list in this series on the Stanislavski System.  


Actors do not act alone (except in one-person shows). Most of the time, they have to interact with other people and other characters. Stanislavski noticed that many actors were prone to losing their focus when they only had a supporting role in a scene or when they had no lines. These actors, he realized, were not as committed to listening as they were speaking their lines while flitting in and out of their roles, thereby ruining the through line. The sense of “the ensemble” is diminished as a result. For this reason, Stanislavski places great emphasis on active listening and being aware of other characters on stage.

We have come to the end of this series on the Stanislavski System. To sum up what we have covered, we have learnt how relaxation, concentration, the importance of specifics, inner truth, action onstage, the through line and ensemble playing all contribute to the believability of a performance.

But Stanislavski’s research certainly does not stop here. One of his most incredible principles is that on psychophysical action. Stay tuned – our next article will give you an introduction to just that!

Meanwhile, leave a comment if you have any questions about the Stanislavski System or if you like this series of articles. We hope that you have found this installation informative and useful.