brecht vs stanislavski- which team are you on?

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francescarella
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so, debaters, which [reactictioner camp are you in? i personally am team stanislavksi. imo, brecht insulted his bourgeoisie audience by thikning that they had to be told constantly that they were watching aplay and didnt want them to be under any illusions. well, excuse me for thinking that people must already know theyre watching a play otherwaise they wouldnt be sat in the theatre!
alos, i prefer stan's way of naturalism and they fact that he wanted people to beleive in his characters. this is to me what makes theatre pure escapism: if i wanted a political message i would have gone to a rally.

so.....thoughts people?

oh also, you can be both teams if your point is valid
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francescarella
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what?
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Acaila
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I'm not on either side. I probably hate Stan less - I actually occasionally use the odd technique of his on certain types of play, but even then they're not much more than common sense. If I wanted to see boring naturalistic real life I'd watch a film or the telly, but theatre is a different medium and we should celebrate that. Brechtian theatre just sucks all the fun out of it for me - all theatre is inherently political but if it's not entertaining then what's the point.

Gimme Augusto Boal or John McGrath anyday :cool:
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VI XII
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TEAM BRECHT!
ive got no time for stan's methods, tbf i dont know all his techniques, having done artaud (legend) at AS. but i much perfer brecht, he wants to effect change, make things happen, teach you. stan the man wants you to feel, have a nice jolly time at the theatre, watch a nice play that hes made you reahearse for 2years.
no thanks.
in other news, anyone a fan of David Mamet?
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hannah_dru
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Both! I love Brecht's abstract theatre style, but I love being able to act realistically.
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happydinosaur
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There is more to theatre than Stan and Brecht. I don't really like either them that much.
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Acaila
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(Original post by happydinosaur)
There is more to theatre than Stan and Brecht. I don't really like either them that much.
Hear hear!
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mrs.brown
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I feel that Brecht is the lesser of two evils. Having studied them both, Stan is definately duller, but I find him much easier to write about.

Artaud is miles more interesting than both.
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francescarella
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(Original post by happydinosaur)
There is more to theatre than Stan and Brecht.
yes i know, but if you had to pick one who would you pick?:rolleyes:
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Hedda.Gabler
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I like Artaud... theatre is a big mixing pot of methods and i think the most inspirational pieces come from taking a bit out of everything!
Physical theatre performances like DV8, productions like the masque of the red death by punchdrunk, and the Argentinian Fuerzabruta are pretty much my favourite productions ever because well... go see them and you will understand.

BUT if i had to choose... Brecht- he makes people think and treats them like intellectuals and he has a strong political and social awareness that is vital to his plays.
I do like naturalism too, and Stans methods can produce some pretty awe inspiring performances.
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delilah17
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im only in year 12 but we got the oppurtunity to watch a brecht play, man equals man, with the upper sixth and i preffered it generally to the stan techniques, it had so much more energy to it it gave me such a buzz i cant wait until next year. though stan does have its good points, it is pretty much fool proof
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MumboJumbo
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Thread Starter, I think you've got a bit of the wrong end of the stick with Brechts theory.

I don't do Theatre Studies etc but I have an avid love for theatre which is why I've read a lot of Brechts, Stanislavskis, Artauds, Appias, Brooks, and more work. So I may have slightly different ideas as to their meanings.

From my own reading, particularly from the 'Brecht on Theatre' collection of essays I understand his theory of Epic Theatre to not be about reminding the audience they are watching a play. That is not the purpose, it is just one of several tools he uses to achieve his purpose.

Brecht's aim was to make his audience think about what was happening on the stage, it was more a journey of self discovery and analytical thinking than an emotional and story telling experience.

As a slightly abstract practical example of where his theory could be used, look at Priestley's An Inspector Calls. This is not a play which an audience goes to to enjoy a wonderful story that will tear at their own emotions, bringing them to laughter or tears. They go, and come out thinking 'hmmm, so what actually happened? Was the Inspector actually real, or was he just a figment of Birling's imagination?' This is what Bertolt Brecht wanted his audience to do when they went to see his shows. He wasn't there to provide an emotional ride for his audience, but to provide a thought provoking experience that would make them question the morals of the characters actions, and ultimately the viewer's own morals and actions.


A lot of you have spoken very highly of Artaud, he is also one of my favourite theatre theorists. I see him as the opposite extreme to Brecht, whilst Stanislavski sits in the middle. Artaud aimed to make his audience feel what his actors were experiencing. He wanted them to feel the pain or ecstasy through as many senses as possible. If this meant making the theatre freezing cold, and dropping drips of water onto his audience; so be it. That is very much external from the actors role, the technical or other sensual aids are just that, aids; they help to emphasise the emotions on stage.

I've said a lot about emotion, Artaud aimed to transfer emotion, his actors were completely in character, and really feeling the emotions. If the actor is feeling their character, and their character's emotions the audience will begin to feel these emotions. The actor almost exaggerates to transfer the vital emotions and feelings appropriately. Artaud's Theatre of Cruelty is the complete opposite of Brecht's Epic Theatre. Theatre of Cruelty aims to transfer emotion, whilst Epic Theatre aims to remove emotion.

Stanislavski provides the middle point between the two theories, it aims to create a completely naturalistic setting and action, emotion is neither removed, nor exaggerated.



As for the original question. Out of Brecht and Stanislavski I would probably say Brecht if I had to give an answer. However, I don't think it is a good question. Almost everyone has answered saying that one theory bores them, it doesn't look like anyone has really looked deep enough into these theories.

There is no right or wrong theory; for some plays Brecht may be the perfect technique to use, in another Artaud may be the best, and in another Stanislavski may be the best. It is all about the setting the theory is being used in.


Hope I haven't bored you all too much!! As I said earlier, I haven't been 'taught' these theories, it is all just personal learning so maybe I have missed something...but I think that for theatre bringing ones own opinion is the only way.
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shazypops
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Artaud

Oooor Grtowski

Both have a bit more unusual-ness to them lol
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Shane_Whofan
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Stanislavski you got to love actor as object unit and objective lol

Brecht is bland and my drama teacher banged on about him and she just bored him for me
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hownow
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Stanislavski actually refuted a lot of his system and said it relied upon to much rational internalisation- by the end of his career he wanted to focus on more somatic physical techniques. A lot of his personal successes as an actor were before he began to theorise his work so much and he recognised that it had its flaws. A lot of actors using Stan techniques become so dogged down in their internalisation that the conflict is lost on stage, they never reach the subconscious and their actions are so over thought that they actually seem expressionistic rather than realistic! (although not to be said of the Brando pedigree) I think the system can be quite stilting if it is not done well. It is almost like with method acting- part of me thinks if you are an actor you should be able to intepret and present as much as transform. Isn't stan creating a bit of a back up incase as an actor you can't engender the performance?

I read an essay that put stan as 'to be' and brecht as 'to be or not to be' and i think people forget that they arent in fact dichotomous forms. Like someone else said artuad is more the opposite of brecht but we are just taught to perceive stan and B. as opposed. Brecht infact used selective realism - in order to show the not to be he also had to show the to be. A lot of elements of his performance relied upon the realistic aspects of say a prop or a piece of set as a function to transport the audience as a vehicle then to put them in the flux of the two styles, where they could peceive something that was realistic but which they could still imagine ad jduge. He also wanted his pieces to be entertaining, they weren't just narcisstic expressionism and people making random symbols,they were gritty stuff! The style he used enabed multiperspectivity and helped create the variety of the modern theatre that doesn't always assume the play is a set piece of static literature where we can go home thinking well he was a bad man and she was a good woman but its ok because by watching this play I realise that and therefore exempt and don't need to think about it again until next time.

Although if the two had met it would have been great - simulatneously theatrical and real.
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44gigi44
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Brecht’s purpose behind “constantly” telling his audience “that they were watching a play and didn’t want them under any illusions” was for a purpose that was much greater than the play. He wanted his work to make people think in a different way. If they were concerned about the characters or story, they couldn’t always see the vision/mission he thought was necessary in society. He made statements through his writing and sought to inspire thought, imagination, and ultimately, change. There was purpose behind everything he put (or didn’t put) onstage. He didn’t want people to escape from anything; he wanted to motivate them to change their worlds.And honestly, I don’t think comparing Brecht and Stanislavsky is a worthwhile debate.
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R2D2IsASith
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Boal.
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RickmanAlways
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[QUOTE=francescarella;11017625]X/QUOTE]

Stanislavski all the way
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crosssafley
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Umm dostoevsky obviously I could do a pub quiz on him but I'd rather throw my shoe over the roof of a pub.
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Tinashashikant
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Explaining how Stanislavsky and his system can be linked to an Inspector Calls. please help me
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