analysis through action
what is analysis through action?
Analysis Through Action (a.k.a Activated Analysis) is a Stanislavski-based acting technique that utilizes intense script analysis alongside energetic explorations called "Etudes" to give the actor an opportunity to analyze a text with their body, on their feet, through physicalized action. The process allows the actor to learn a scene by progressing through four stages of Etudes, taking them from silence, to sound, to their own words and then all the way to the words of the playwright--all the while prioritizing the action they take to effect their partner(s) and the reaction they have to their partner(s) actions toward them. It is a highly physical process that opens the actor's instrument up to their natural instincts and frees them from the burden of trying to perform the text in "the way it should be done".
Late in Konstantin Stanislavski's life, he was still working to help actors find a way into their craft. Years after he published his now famous trilogy of books, An Actor Prepares, Building A Character, and Creating a Role, he looked back at his "Method" and at how his students were interpreting his earlier teachings, and he noticed how stiff and trapped within themselves they had become. In prioritizing a character's backstory and focusing on Sense Memory, The Method had actors spending far too much time around a table, looking too much within themselves and therefore cutting themselves off from what was or could truly happen on stage in the present moment.
So he began again. Completely scrapping his methodology that had made him famous, Stanislavski alongside Maria Knebel began putting his actors on their feet immediately after encountering a script: "We can read a play today and perform it tomorrow," he said. This switch in focus validated the actors inherent knowledge of human behavior, reinforcing the concept of "I in the given circumstances" or "The Magic If". In other words, he redefined acting as not playing a different person, but rather filling a character's circumstances with oneself. In doing so, he granted actors the freedom to act and react organically.
He developed a new way to rehearse, wherein actors explore their given circumstances through energetic exchanges and improvisations called "Etudes". Eventually, those were structured into 4 Stages: Silence, Sound, Actor's Words, Playwright's Words. This gave a progression that moved the actor organically through the process of learning the scene. At no point did he allow his actors to memorize their lines or hold their scripts on stage, which allowed them to organically learn the scene, get it into their bodies so it could be different and fresh each time--"here, now, never before".
work with me
Students will first gain a fundamental understanding of what an Étude is through energetic explorations, before then using the 4 Étude Structure to dive into assigned text and get to the raw, physical heart of the scene. In doing so, they will discover an action-based method of script analysis that will free them from The Table, and provide tools for using this process for auditions and more traditional American Theatre rehearsals.
This workshop is open to new and returning students, so if you've been curious about Analysis Through Action, this would be a great way to learn what it's all about. If you've worked with this technique before, this would be perfect for deepening your understanding and sharpening tools to use Études in your outside work. I'll be assigning text specific to who you are as an artist and we'll have a couple more hours at our disposal, which will allow us to get further than we ever have before.
Date: Sept 18 & 19, 10am-5pm each day
Location: ART/NY Studios
520 8th Ave, 3rd floor, New York, NY
Price: $165 total ($50 deposit--check, cash, Venmo, PayPal or Cash App)
Note: The class is limited to 12 students
To secure your spot or get more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.