No single person has influenced the theater more than Konstantin Stanislavski. Stasnislavski and the modern theater in Russia, as well as throughout the world, became synonymous, because of his system of "Method Acting." He was born to a family of means in Moscow on January 17, 1863, and was well educated. Early in his life, he made a choice to devote himself to the stage: "Throughout his adolescence he took part in numerous performances organized in his family's house where stage facilities were specially built by his father." Theater became his passion. He took singing, drama and ballet lessons.
While pursuing his amateur career, Stanislavski used his family money to start the Society of Art and Literature in 1888. It was a school and a repertory theater. This proved to be a tremendous stepping stone in his career and in his knowledge of the theater. "As both an actor and producer, Stanislavski began his search for a theater which would ban the spurious and artificial from the stage." He was able to oversee numerous productions and gain invaluable insight into the process of play production. Soon he became an excellent director and actor. The casts and crews he assembled, amateurs and professionals, were able to put on any production:
The list of plays acted and directed by Stanislavsky between 1888 and 1896 shows not only the great range of his apprenticeship, which goes from serious drama to light operetta, but is also a reflection of his basic duality: he was equally attracted by faithful representation of life in a scrupulous naturalistic manner and by whimsical impressionism and symbolism.
The Society of Art and Literature became "the most powerful and original theater group in Moscow," according to one writer.
As a result, thew intelligentsia of Moscow wanted Stanislavski to widen his focus. Thus, the Society of Art and Literature was the basis for the new Moscow Art Theater. In 1897, with ...