Theater: Stanislavsky's Ghosts

Dead Souls, by Nikolai Gogol. When the Stanislavsky-directed Moscow Art Theater last appeared in New York in 1924, it was the apostle of a new dramatic naturalism bent on depicting man with all his mental warts, body aches and soul pains. For U.S. actors it was a kind of Magna Carta, freeing them from stilted and artificial stage conventions. In more recent years, the Stanislavsky Method has suffered the old age of any revolution, which is to become a religion. The esthetic irony of the Moscow troupe's reappearance on the Broadway scene is that 41 years have effected a reversal of...

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