Stella Adler, Actress & Acting Teacher — Yahoo Voices —

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Adler Revolutionzed American with Her Version of Stanislavski’s

Stella Adler was born on 1, 1901, in New York, the youngest of the Yiddish theater actors, P. Adler and Sarah Adler, who an acting dynasty. In addition to her Stella’s family included her Charles Adler, Jay Adler, and Luther Adler, all of whom on Broadway.

Stella made her at the age of four in the family-owned theater in the Broken Hearts . At the age of 18, she made her debut as Naomi in Elisa Ben . in which she appeared for a year returning to New York. Stella spent the next 10 years the boards in vaudeville and Yiddish theaters throughout North and America and Europe. In all, she in 100 plays.

Adler was widely in the Yiddish theater, but she wanted to out of that theatrical ghetto and a wider variety of roles on the stage and in Hollywood. What was in Adler’s 83-year-long career was her dedication to broadening the level of in the theater.

Stella Adler her Broadway debut as a replacement in Kapek’s The World We Live In . official debut as a member of the company was in The Straw Hat on Oct 14, 1926). its run played out, she joined the school run by Richard Boleslawski and Ouspenskaya, the American Laboratory. Boleslavsky and Maria Ouspenskaya former members of the famous Art Theatre.

Group Theatre

married to Horace Eleaschreff, Adler met Harold Clurman, who become her second husband and one of the of The Group Theatre, in 1924 would marry 19 years In this period, she met another Group Theatre co-founder, Lee at the Actor’s Laboratory when she in classes there in 1928.

Along with Cheryl Clurman and Strasberg founded the Theatre in 1931. It became the most influential theater in 20th century America, at in terms of its influence on acting by the teaching of Konstantin Stanislavski’s to the American stage. Its aim was the championing of and it is credited with bringing into the American theater.

and Strasberg invited Adler to a founding member of the Group The Utopian political ideals were central to the idea of the Theatre did not appeal to Adler, nor did the focus of the company, but she did join being promised leading and because she supported Clurman’s of the theater as an art form.

It was with the Theatre that Stella some of her more acclaimed including Sarah Glassman in Story . Bessie Berger in and Sing! and Clara in Paradise .

Disciple of Stanislavski

In 1934,Stella a leave of absence from the Theatre and traveled to Russia to for five weeks in Moscow Art and in private sessions with the man himself, Konstantin Stanislavski, motto was Think of your own and use them truthfully. Adler was few American actors, such as Chekhov and Richard Boleslawski to privately with Stanislavsky.

In August 1934, Adler from Russia, and made a of what she learned from She then she began teaching classes to members of The Group troupe, including the actors Kazan, Sanford Meisner and Lewis. Meisner and Lewis go on to be the most influential acting in America after Adler and Strasberg.

Elia Kazan, who go on to become the greatest theatrical in 20th century American also had a huge impact on acting by championing what known in the vernacular as The Method, was closely related to Adler’s Kazan’s exposure to Konstantin System via Adler was highly in his work.

Stella Adler, the most experienced of the Group actors, had not accepted Lee Strasberg’s version of Stanislavski’s System, Strasberg interpreted as method and its goals to memory exercises. The emphasis was the sick one in Strasberg’s said Stella Adler, as it acting under Strasberg painful for her.

On Her Own

Stella increasingly uncomfortable with the Theatre members, many of were also Communist members. She had appeared on Broadway in Broadway plays with her Luther Adler: John Lawson’s Success Story . Levy’s Gold Eagle Guy . and two by Clifford Odets’ Paradise and Awake and Sing! Both and Odets were Communist members.

Lawson, the Communist cultural commissar in Hollywood, eventually be jailed as one of the Hollywood while Odets would names before the House Activities Committee that had Lawson and other current and communists.

Adler left the company in to conquer Hollywood. According to her student and friend, Marlon she had a bad nose job to camouflage her Semitic so hell-bent was she on conquering the movies as she had the She was not to succeed.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer changed her to Stella Ardler. Her younger Luther chided her on her name wondering why M-G-M hadn’t her name to Beverly Wilshire.

She was even by the vulgar tycoons of Stella Adler spent six as an associate producer at the M-G-M.

to achieve the quality roles and the that she had in the theater, Stella eventually returned to the stage in the 1940s, acting and directing on and in London. Adler also to teach at German émigré Piscator’s acting workshop at the New for Social Research, where she the young Marlon Brando.

Adler married Harold in 1942.

Aside from Adler directed two plays on Manhattan Nocturne during the season, and Sunday Breakfast in Her last appearance as an actress on the stage was in the revival of He Who Gets in 1946.

Adler’s Method

At its the theatrical experience is rooted in the suspension of disbelief, with an willingly ignoring the fact it is watching a synthetic entertainment in a unrealistic venue. Such is the of good theater to draw the into the world created the stage that this of disbelief not only occurs, but it, as an art form, provides an immediacy other more realistic such as movies or television provide.

Stella Adler believed the theater exists 99% in the imagination and it was belief that was the foundation of her and instruction.

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Drawing on Stanislavski’s Adler made it the bedrock of her that an actor’s primary was with the emotional origins of the An actor (and acting must search between the of the script for the playwright’s important, but messages.

To tap into this and bring forth the real in a character, an actor needed imagination and the ability to open up emotionally. Essentially, Adler’s emphasized that authenticity in is achieved by drawing on inner to expose deep emotional Konstantin Stanislavski taught her the source of acting is imagination and the key to its is truth, truth in the circumstances of the

Star Pupil

It was a fortuitous when Marlon Brando in Erwin Piscator’s Dramatic at New York’s New School and came int The results of this meeting an actor and the teacher preparing him for a in the theater would mark a in American acting and culture as it was Brando that The Method was into the American theater and It would dominate American for more than half-a-century and is the dominant paradigm now, sixty years since tutored Brando.

The Method as taught by Stella and other Group Theater was a more naturalistic style of as it engendered a close identification of the with the character’s emotions. The sensitive and intelligent Brando was the student due to the prodigious talent he yoke to the harness of technique was The Method.

Stella Adler pride of place among Brando’s acting teachers, and she helped turn him from a ignorant Midwestern farm boy a knowledgeable and cosmopolitan artist who one day socialize with presidents. The Brando dated Adler’s daughter Ellen, whom a friend of his for the rest of his life.


Stella Adler the faculty of the New School in 1949 to her own acting school, the Stella Theatre Studio (which be renamed the Stella Adler of Acting before taking its name, the Stella Adler of Acting). She developed a curriculum her wide knowledge and experience, her understanding of Konstantin Stanislavski’s with the techniques and traditions of the theater, The Group Theatre, and Hollywood.

In addition to instruction in technique, the school offered in play analysis, character, and preparation; the students gleaned experience by performing scenes and before invited audiences. the alumni of her school were Brando (chairman of the board of the until his …), Warren (who has taken over the Robert De Niro and Harvey

Stella Adler taught analysis at Yale for a year and Courses for advanced students and were added to the curriculum of her own including rehearsal technique and analysis. Due to her reputation and connections, the was able to attract distinguished including Sir John Gielgud and Laurents.

Stella Adler was a inspiration to her students. Her mantra You act with your soul. why you all want to be actors — your souls are not used up by

Adler is still, more a decade after her …, as one of the foremost influences on contemporary

Adler divorced Clurman in after 17 years of marriage. she married Mitchell Wilson, she remained married to until his in 1973. She did not remarry.

Stella died on December 21, 1992 in Los California. She was 91 years old.

Jon C. is a freelance journalist and editor. He has extensively on current events, politics and the cinema. View

Adler M 100

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