From Physical Action to Experiencing: Late Style and Stanislavsky’s Method of Physical Action

Tsu Chung Su*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


From 1935 to 1938, Konstantin Stanislavsky turned away from political turmoil in Russia and concentrated on operating the last studio in his life—the Opera-Dramatic Studio. He was actively engaged in experimenting a rehearsal technique called the “Method of Physical Action” within this less than four-year period. He passed away on 7 August 1938 at the age of seventy-five. This Studio which was established to experiment the Method of Physical Action in his later years let me think of Edward Said’s final work titled On Late Style: Music and Literature Against the Grain. This paper intends to use the term “late style” as a viewpoint to initiate discussions, investigations, and analyses about Stanislavsky. It proposes to conduct a review of his creative career in the very beginning. Then it focuses on exploring different aspects of the Method of Physical Action in terms of theory and practice. It employs the quasi-fugue technique to juxtapose three interpretative voices or sources which all address the meaningful topic of the Method of Physical Action (MPA) with a view to allow the three source materials to complement and cross-fertilize each other, and in the end to enrich our understanding of the MPA. Finally, this paper aims to illustrate and evaluate the MPA’s characteristics, uniqueness, and creativity under the rubric of late style.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-118
Number of pages60
JournalWenshan Review of Literature and Culture
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Konstantin Stanislavsky
  • late style
  • the Method of Physical Action
  • the Opera-Dramatic Studio
  • the System

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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