Method acting is the endeavour to apply natural rules and laws to the theatre which can aid an actor with the process of playing a role.
Method Acting and Cast
Anthony Quinn: Having talent is like having blue eyes. You don't admire a man for the colour of his eyes. I admire a man for what he does with his talent. [Sunday Express, 1960] Why do I say Method Acting for Directors? I thought that I can let Actor Stanislavsky to address directors about the craft and art of acting. What they know themselves about performance, what they expect and ask from the actors, how they can help them to the roles right, how they can learn to play such wonderful intruments and condact the symphony of drama....

Film Casting and other "casting" pages: Cast in directing, Typecast in BioMethod, Actors and Cast in Method. Plus, Auditions. Rules of Casting Harvard


The general qualification for auditioning performers is previous performance experience documented by resume.

On occasion, an inexperienced person is cast in a limited role when by audition there is demonstrated performance potential. Once cast, performers generally keep that role as a repertoire cast member when the "Theatre Co." goes on tour [summer fests and regional]. There are exceptions to this rule when deemed in the best interest of the production. There are company rules by which all performers are expected to abide and a percentage fine system when performers do not abide. Each cast performer is issued a copy of these rules for review and signature along with a performance contract. All casting is done by a per production contract only. Performers are paid on a per performance basis. The pay scale is based on the role and performance credentials. [non equity actors]
For the audition performers present two three minute monologue (one/dramatic and one/comedic); a song (accapella or with an accompaniment tape). Dance auditions are held separately under the direction of the company choreographer.
Performance resume and 8X10 glossy are also required.



Whom the gods wish to destroy they first call promising. ~ Cyril Connoly "Stars"? Street smart, working-class aristocracy.


Stanislavsky: Unless the theatre can ennoble you, make you a better person, you should flee from it.

Moscow Art 
Theatre - directing theory

Grotowski: Teep ooop o o "eap aca". peoa paee "eap aca", ooy o o pe. "Teap py" -- oo ee eapa aca. o eco cao c oee peccepa. Peccep, ceoe , oc XX ee. Bce pooo o ae Meea, Cacacoo, cex eo yeo, a Meepxoa, cex ee pe, oope pe coa eapa aca. o oo peccep -- e cyecoa. To, o aac "peccepo", oa eapax cex, op , oop: "opoa o, oa o y ep, cec ca, a o cy, a ae epe y ep". Peccep oc ece c eo epao peopo. *

B aco oe ea eapaa peopa aoea, py cycca ypoae oepaa, oaac epe o xyoeceo aacpo eape. B acoee pe pecapo epy apoa aepo opeeeo ec a ecoo ee pee pepaa aepo pao, oope o o y ooeco ycp. oa e a aeo, o o pe acyae. B Aepe ccea ye ya eap aca, ccea "" aaa yoa eap aca A. o peoo oo oo oo oepeco eoo oe ce, o o opo o pe eo eapao peop.

oey eoxo eap aca? ooy o e aca eooe xyoece eap. He cpa oy peepy c eec , o oo o pyoe eco, po epe ce ye pocya ea ee -. Ta opao, poae, o ye ee. Hyo ea cpo, yo, o e p, a, yo poaa, o peco ycex epa. Ta poae, o ye ae. o, o ye op, caec aece. o yaco! Ha cao ee, oa paoae a peepo -- oo ceyy, oopy ceae epe p epe oa. eo a pocxoo Teape-aopaop: yc "aea", oop paxo, e a ca, p, ocoeo -- o. Ho ecoo e cyc oc "Apocalypsis cum figuris", oop p "". -, , . . , . , : - . , - . , . -- . , , , , . -- . , , , , , , , . , , , , . , -- , .

[ Stanislavsky ]

Some actors do not fully realize the limitations placed on them by nature. They undertake problems beyond their powers to solve. The comedian wants to play tragedy, the old man to be a jeune premier, the simple type longs for heroic parts and the soubrette for the dramatic. This can only result in forcing, impotence, and stereotyped, mechanical action. These are shackles and your only means of getting out of them is to study your art and yourself in relation to it. --An Actor Prepares

"Create your own method. Don't depend slavishly on mine. Make up something that will work for you! But keep breaking traditions, I beg you." Stanislavsky
Archetype: A symbol, usually an image, which recurs often enough in literature to be recognizable as an element of one's literary experience as a whole. Carl Jung used the term "archetype" to refer to the generalized patterns of images that form the world of human representations in recurrent motifs, passing through the history of all culture. Since archetypes are rooted in the collective unconscious, they may be conceived through the psychic activity of any individual, be it in the form of dreams, art works, the ancient monuments of religious activity, or the contemporary images of commercial advertising. Such archetypes as the "innocent babe," the "unheeded prophet," the "philosopher's stone," and many others which also have their source in the primitive darkness of the unconscious, are repeated in numerous works of cultural creation.

This page is connected with COMEDY (genre) and CHARACTER (hero) pages: both have to be established. Everything else you can do is on the top of the first fundamental choices.

If you read Biomechanics pages, you understand actor "writes" his "texts" (performace) and is required to define his "game." Type is the rule, no less than gender or age (the exercises we do in class). We can't go any further in developing your character unless the choices are made.

Start where you are -- look at yourself! Are you tall? Play it. Short? Play it to the extreme -- make yourself shorter! Very short! Comedy asks for extremes -- give it, be big in your acting choices.

Every personal physical characterization is for your charcter, give it away (you got it for free). Parody yourself and you will get this comedic hero. Remember, "below everage" (Aristotle)? Make this type below yourself! Make it simple; go only after the obvious.

The problem is that we do not know ourselves....

[ connect this page with other "casting" pages: Cast in directing, Typecast in BioMethod, Actors and Cast in Method. ]


Cast Page in directing *
Don't fight it.
Each of us has a God-given design; your body is something like a situation, make it work for you. Yes, you are and should be a type. It's not the end of your artistic life, my friend, but a starting point.

At the time when the modernist revolution brought the ordinary to center stage, Meyerhold returned to traditional types of Commedia del Arte. Since in Russian tradition of repertory theatre artistic (chief) director builds a "team," Meyerhold thought about a composition of acting body of his theatre capable of playing many plays. Amplua -- natural gravitation of actor to dramatic organization of stories developed by centuries of tradition. Hero and villain, a friend (helper) of a hero, a victim, etc.
Here is Meyerhold's list of types:

1. Male

Tragic hero

Comical lover

Dramatic lover

Jeune comique

Socialite ("Fat" from French)

Common type hero

Fool (common)

Character Comic Actors (young)

Hero of new drama

Character Actors



2. Female

Tragic heroine

Comic heroine

Ingenue dramatique


Common dramatic heroine

Young common comic

Young dramatic character actress

Young comic character actress

Heroine of new drama

Grande dame

Dramatic character actress


Comical old woman

[ Auditions in Theatre Theory. ]

So? Who are you?
This is your home work -- think about it. It will help you to do the selection of monologues, should help you with your acting choices. Look at well known actors -- who is your favorite? Why? Go for impersonation. This is a labor of self-recognition, getting comfortable with your medium -- yourself.

* Audience is the most important member of any cast.


Two categories: "Lead actors" and "supporting actors"... Why? "Character actor"? Who is not? Only in our celebrity culture we can tolerate this nonsense!

Find our modern equivalents to the Meyerhold's list.

In your Actor's journal describe yourself.

What are other (good) limitations?
By age, of course.

This classification needs to be compared with another Meyerhold's "Silver Age" (Komisarjevskaya Theatre) period (Symbolism). Commedia del'Arte casting is restoring physical qualities of actors. Good.

Limitations are good for you!

Are you a major? Go to PS page for the last minute instructions before your graduation. Go there now, when you are a freshman! Anatoly


I can't go through analysis and commentaries of each type; do your own research. I simply wanted to state that so-called "type-casting" has long historical tradition and justification.


Your color, your shape, your sound, your word, tree and etc.

Each actor is a different instrument, each character is a different melody...

I can put in visual composition terms, too.

Harmony in each role, harmony in all!

Conflict in each -- and conflict in all.

Do you want to understand the laws of casting? Use nothing but common sense; think about yourself, the spectator!

All answers are in one place -- the AUDIENCE!

If you understand PUBLIC, do theatre...

So simple.

Too simple to understand?

Yes, I direct before I cast, but I do not rehearse!

Oh, there is a big difference in director's mind between the two stages of living the show.

For days I can't get used to the "new" show after I casted it.

I rehearse in order for my show and our show to meet...

Well, there is their show as well -- but know little about it; it's between the play, my actors -- and you, the public.

I do not like to see my shows. I can't revisit the past...

* 116. Audience's pulse has to be played to: "Everybody's life is a failure." * 117. Audience only barely listens, they watch, they see the story with their eyes. * 108. Audience has to be lead down a hallway. Keep the audience wondering. If you come to a conclusion, you lose the audience. METHOD (common rules for the cast): This approach, characterized by lack of any specific or technical approach to acting, is usually the antithesis of clich, unrealistic, and so-called "rubber-stamp" acting. Depending on the exact version taught by the numerous directors and teachers who claim to propagate the fundamentals of this technique, the process can include various ideologies and practices such as the extremely notable "what if", "substitution", and "emotional memory".

The modern movement often called method acting is also often referred to as "the Stanislavski System" after Konstantin Stanislavski who pioneered the ideas in his teachings, writings, and acting. His most influential books are the autobiography My Life in Art, and his trilogy of books set in a fictionalized acting school as a pretense for his own teachings, An Actor Prepares, Building a Character, and Creating a Role.

Many others have taken the place of Stanislavski as prominent method teachers. Perhaps the most successful and worthwhile being Michael Chekhov, Anton Chekhov's nephew; Vantankov, a Stanislavski student and proteg; Uta Hagen, the author of "Respect for Acting"; Richard Boleslavski; and most importantly Lee Strasberg who had a great impact on both The Actor's Studio and the Group Theater, which were method acting strongholds, labs for experimentation, and the equivalent to nursery schools for many of the greatest actors of the late 20th century.

A separate, though closely related, school of Method acting was championed by Sanford Meisner, another Group Theatre pioneer. Meisner broke from Strasberg on the subject of "sense memory" or "emotion memory", one of the basic tenets of Method. Meisner's theory thus revolves around being fully in the moment of the character, and experiencing all sensations as the character would, while his contemporaries used their own experiences as springboards into the emotional life of the character.

The Possessed 2003 (read the novel)
* 118. Audience wants heart. * 100. Audience can't be told what to think and feel. The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed. Carl Jung

STORY. Jung concluded that every person has a story, and when derangement occurs, it is because the personal story has been denied or rejected. Healing and integration comes when the person discovers or rediscovers his or her own personal story.

THE UNCONSCIOUS. A basic tenet: All products of the unconscious are symbolic and can be taken as guiding messages. What is the dream or fantasy leading the person toward? The unconscious will live, and will move us, whether we like it or not.

THE UNCONSCIOUS. A basic tenet: All products of the unconscious are symbolic and can be taken as guiding messages. What is the dream or fantasy leading the person toward? The unconscious will live, and will move us, whether we like it or not.

Personal unconscious. That aspect of the psyche which does not usually inter the individual's awareness and which appears in overt behavior or in dreams. It is the source of new thoughts and creative ideals, and produces meaningful symbols.

Collective unconscious: That aspect of the unconscious which manifests inherited, universal themes which run through all human life. Inwardly, the whole history of the human race, back to the most primitive times, lives on in us.

SYMBOL. A name, term, picture which is familiar in daily life, yet has other connotations besides its conventional and obvious meaning. Implies something vague and partially unknown or hidden, and is never precisely defined. Dream symbols carry messages from the unconscious to the rational mind.

ARCHETYPES. These primordial images reflect basic patterns or universal themes common to us all which are present in the unconscious. These symbolic images exist outside space and time. Examples: Shadow, animus, anima, the old wise person, the innocent child. There also seem to be nature archetypes, like fire, ocean, river, mountain.

PERSONA. The "mask" or image we present to the world. Designed to make a particular impression on others, while concealing our true nature.

SHADOW. The side of our personality which we do not conscousnly display in public. May have positive or negative qualities. If it remains unconscious, the shadow is often projected onto other individuals or groups.

ANIMA. Archetype symbolizing the unconscious female component of the male psyche. Tendencies or qualities often thought of as "feminine."

ANIMUS. Archetype symbolizing the unconscious male component of the female psyche. Tendencies or qualities often thought of as "masculine."

DREAMS. Specific expressions of the unconscous which have a definite, purposeful structure indicating an underlying idea or intention. The general function of dreams is to restore one's total psychic equlilibrium. They tend to play a complementary or compensatory role in our psychic makeup.

SYNCHRONICITY. The meaningful coincidence of a psychic and a physical state or event which have no causal relationship to each other.

SELF. Archetype symbolizing the totality of the personality. It represents the striving for unity, wholeness, and integration.

MANDALA. The Sanskrit word for circle. For Jung, the mandala was a symbol of wholeness, completness, and perfection. Symbolized the self.

AMPLIFICATION. To get a larger sense of a dream, a kind of spreading-out of associations by referring to mythology, art, literature, music. ("Where have we heard this before."

ACTIVE IMAGINATION. A concept embracing a variety of techniques for activating our imaginal processes in waking life in order to tap into the unconscious meanings of our symbols.

PSYCHOLOGICAL TYPES. People differ in certain basic ways, even though the instincts which drive us are the same. He distinguished two general attitudes--introversion and extraversion; and four functions--thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuiting.

Extravert: Outer-directed, need for sociability, chooses people as a source of energy, often action-oriented.

Introvert: Inner-directed, need for privacy and space; chooses solitude to recover energy, often reflective.

Thinking function: Logical, sees cause & effect relations, cool, distant, frank, questioning.

Feeling function: Creative, warm, intimate, a sense of valuing positively or negatively. (Note that this is not the same as emotion)

Sensing function: Sensory, oriented toward the body and senses,

detailed, concrete, present.

Intuitive. Sees many possibilities in situations, goes with hunches, impatient with earthy details, impractical, sometimes not present. left-art

... Now you know what I take into a considiration casting every show. Anatoly [Jung's tests -- I have other criteria, many]