Degree Year

1981

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

English

Advisor(s)

Carol Tufts

Keywords

Anton Chekhov, Cherry Orchard, Homecoming

Abstract

The ever-present tension between literary criticism and performance analysis makes one wary about suggesting a cause and effect link between the work of a single dramatist and the development of a major acting method. And yet, it is impossible to separate the original concept of subtext, which emerged upon Stanislavsky's stage, from Anton Chekhov's revolutionary dramaturgy, which made startling demands upon that stage. Chekhov wanted specifically to narrow the gap between real life and stage life--to do away with the worn-out well made play formula that permitted actors to declaim and gesticulate broadly, shouting incredible passions and externalizing larger-than-life desires. Chekhov's oblique dialogue had its most immediate impact upon the actor, who could no longer simply declaim if he or she hoped to convey the full content of his or her character's thought and feeling.

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