History of the Actor.

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The Stars and The Stairs

An Old Russian proverb says: "If you go to your porch, look up at the sky, and jump to the stars, you will just land in the mud."

The stars are those things we dream of, we envisage and we hope to achieve; both Grotowski and Meyerhold had their theatrical vision, their ideals of what an actor should possess with regards to technical and psychological properties-all these embedded amongst the stars. Yet, they made one thing which characterizes their greatness as theatre makers: they constructed pedagogy. They didn't jump to the stars, they constructed the stairs. They reached their stars, their visions via the stairs in the dark sky of humanity.

Their social environment: Meyerhold in the Russian Revolution and Grotowski in "the modern civilization characterized by pace, tension, and a feeling of doom" (as he called it), had an impact on the way they made theatre.

Meyerhold's ideal of theatre lay in function of the social revolution and Grotowski's lay in making theatre "as a vehicle", therefore, we deduce; a theatre exploring totally its own discipline before it can "serve". They strove to reach their ideal of theatre, consequently the ideal of humanity in art with theatre being the art of the human being.

The stars of these directors will be discussed distinctively in their own right so as to make it easier to follow a logical pattern and to follow their separate ideas leading to various stars in one universal sky (humanity).At this point it is important to note that the preceding ideals of Meyerhold -that is Biomechanics-amalgamated in the stairs of Grotowski (as he notes in the first few pages of "Towards a Poor Theatre").


The stars of Meyerhold from1902 up to 1905 were based on realistic principles. He rejected...