Stanislavsky and Meyerhold

by Robert Leach (Author)
©2003 Monographs 258 Pages
Series: Stage and Screen Studies, Volume 3


This book traces the parallel careers of the two greatest twentieth-century theatre practitioners, the Russian masters Konstantin Stanislavsky and Vsevolod Meyerhold. It is particularly concerned with the simultaneous development of their two contradictory – but perhaps also complementary – acting methods, methods which dominate the best acting practice today. From the same starting point at the Moscow Art Theatre in 1898, Stanislavsky and Meyerhold pursued very different artistic paths through the turbulent last years of tsarism, and the increasingly tormented first decades of communism. Yet by the late 1930s, almost unnoticed, they had begun to work together again. However, their fates under Stalin’s tyranny were diametrically opposite: while Stanislavsky was virtually deified by the state, Meyerhold was vilified, tortured and executed. This is a unique story of artistic struggle, as well as of personal jealousy and affection, and it illuminates the methods and potential of contemporary acting practice.


ISBN (Softcover)
Mejerchol'd, Vsevolod E. Stanislavskij, Konstantin S. Theatertheorie Stanislavsky Meyerhold Moscow Art Theatre acting method Russian theatre Chekhov Theatre-Studio
Oxford, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt/M., New York, Wien, 2003. 258 pp.

Biographical notes

Robert Leach (Author)

The Author: Robert Leach, formerly reader in Drama at Birmingham University, now teaches at the University of Edinburgh. He gained his Ph.D. from Cambridge University for his research on Russian Revolutionary Theatre. He is a freelance theatre director, whose work includes the world premiere of the formerly banned I Want a Baby by Sergei Tretyakov at Moscow’s Teatr u Nikitskikh Vorot in 1990. He has written many books, including Revolutionary Theatre, A History of Russian Theatre and The Punch and Judy Show: History, Tradition and Meaning.


Title: Stanislavsky and Meyerhold