Search-icon

Stella Adler on Ibsen, Strindberg, and Chekhov

By , (Author)

Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

have you read it? rate it!
Histogram_reset_icon
ADD TO MY SHELF
About This Book
An original member of the famed Group Theater, Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists to come out of the American theater. As a Stanislavsky disciple and founder of her own highly esteemed acting conservatory, the extravagant actress was also an eminent acting teacher, training her students--among them Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and Robert DeNiro--in the art of script interpretation.

The classic lectures collected here, delivered over a period of forty years, bring to life the plays of the three fathers of modern drama: Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, and Anton Chekhov. With passionate conviction and shrewd insight, Adler explains how their plays forever changed the world of dramaturgy while offering enduring insights on society, class, culture, and the role of the actor. She explores the struggles of Ibsen's characters to free themselves from societal convention, the mortal conflicts that trap Strindberg's men and women, and the pain of loss and transition lyrically evoked by Chekhov. A majestic volume, Stella Adler on Ibsen, Strindberg, and Chekhov allows us to experience the work of these masters "as if to see, hear and feel their genius for the first time." (William H. Gass)
Show less
An original member of the famed Group Theater, Stella Adler was one of the most influential artists to come out of the American theater. As a Stanislavsky disciple and founder of her own highly esteemed acting conservatory, the extravagant actress was also an eminent acting teacher, training her students--among them Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and Robert DeNiro--in the art of script interpretation.

The classic lectures collected here, delivered over a period of forty years, bring to life the plays of the three fathers of modern drama: Henrik Ibsen, August Strindberg, and Anton Chekhov. With passionate conviction and shrewd insight, Adler explains how their plays forever changed the world of dramaturgy while offering enduring insights on society, class, culture, and the role of the actor. She explores the struggles of Ibsen's characters to free themselves from societal convention, the mortal conflicts that trap Strindberg's men and women, and the pain of loss and transition lyrically evoked by Chekhov. A majestic volume, Stella Adler on Ibsen, Strindberg, and Chekhov allows us to experience the work of these masters "as if to see, hear and feel their genius for the first time." (William H. Gass)
Product Details
Paperback (352 pages)
Published: September 12, 2000
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679746980
Other books byStella Adler
  • Stella Adler on America's Master Playwrights

    Stella Adler on America's Master Playwrights
    Eugene O'Neill, Thornton Wilder, Clifford...
    “Don’t use your conscious past. Use your creative imagination to create a past that belongs to your character. I don’t want you to be stuck with your own life. It’s too little.”   “You must get beneath the words before you can say them. The text must be in you. It is your job to fill, not to empty the words. They can only be used if they come out of what you need to say.”    —Stella Adler   From one the most celebrated and influential acting teachers of her time, of all time, whose generations of students include Marlon Brando, Anthony Quinn, Eva Marie Saint, Diana Ross, Robert De Niro, Warren Beatty, Annette Benning, Peter Bogdanovich, Mark Ruffalo—the long-awaited companion volume to her book on the master European playwrights Ibsen, Strindberg, and Chekhov (“Evidence,” wrote John Guare, “that Stella Adler is hands down the greatest acting teacher America has produced . . . Nobody with a serious interest in the theater can afford to be without this book”). She was a force of nature, an unforgettable personality. Once, when she walked into a crowded room and her presence caused a hush to fall over it, a little girl asked, “Mommy, is that God?” Adler saw script interpretation as the actor’s profession (“The most important thing you can teach actors is to understand plays”). Her classes of script analysis became legendary; brilliant revelations of the playwrights, the characters, the social class and the time of the play as opposed to one’s own. Adler explored how to find the ideas and experience them; how to search for the soul, for what is unsaid; all of this as a way of building craft as distinct from talent. Her new book, brilliantly edited by Barry Paris, brings together her most important lectures on America’s plays and playwrights, the giants of the twentieth century, men she knew, loved, and worked with. Adler considers, among them, Eugene O’Neill, Mourning Becomes Electra; his first play, Beyond the Horizon; and his last, Long Day’s Journey into Night (“O’Neill is a mystical playwright . . . his speech is vernacular, down-to-earth . . . it conveys the idea that there is nothing real outside, but that’s where I want to be—somewhere out in the fog. The answers are hard to get in a fog”) . . . She writes about Tennessee Williams and The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Summer and Smoke, and The Lady of Larkspur Lotion (“Williams captivates us because of the romantic way in which he escapes the filth and frustration . . . The greatness in Williams is that [the characters] have a right to run away. What do they run away from? From the monster of commercialism and competition, from things that kill the melody and beauty of life”) . . . about Clifford Odets (“Clifford, if you don’t become a genius,” Adler once said to him, “I’ll never forgive you”); and about his plays Waiting for Lefty and Golden Boy (on Lorna Moon and Joe Bonaparte: “You can’t put a whore together with a Napoleonic man and think they’re going to make it. They might make it under certain conditions—but not from the point of view of love. This is not a love story. It’s a hate story”) . . . about William Inge and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs and Come Back, Little Sheba; about Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman (“[The salesman’s sons] are Biff and Happy . . . They’re not George and Jacob. Their names are shortcuts. It’s the American Way—a way of saying, ‘We’ll leave out tradition’ . . . That tells you something you’ll see throughout the entire play: they are cut off from custom”) about Miller’s After the Fall; and Edward Albee’s The Zoo Story and The Death of Bessie Smith. Illuminating, revelatory, inspiring: Stella Adler at her electrifying best.

    Stella Adler

    Stella Adler
    The Art of Acting
    Stella Adler was one of the 20th Century's greatest figures. She is arguably the most important teacher of acting in American history. Over her long career, both in New York and Hollywood, she offered her vast acting knowledge to generations of actors, including Marlon Brando, Warren Beatty, and Robert De Niro. The great voice finally ended in the early Nineties, but her decades of experience and teaching have been brilliantly caught and encapsulated by Howard Kissel in the twenty-two lessons in this book.

    Jacob Adler

    Jacob Adler
    A Life on the Stage
    Jacob Adler, with his performances in the Yiddish King Lear, Uriel Acosta and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, became first a megastar of the exploding Yiddish theatre, and then all of Broadway. His memoirs, originally written and published in Yiddish and now translated (by his granddaughter) into English provides not only a compelling portrait of one of America's greatest actors but a fascinating social history of his time.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
Quote Cannot be Empty

Submitted quotes are usually posted within 48 hours

ThanksYour Quote Will be posted Shortly
Bookish