Sonia Moore and American Acting Training: With a Sliver of Wood in Hand
- Publish Date: 2005-09-21
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Suzanne M. Trauth;Elizabeth C. Stroppel
As a young woman, Sonia Moore studied at the Third Studio of the Moscow Art Theatre under the direction of Evgeni Vakhtangov, a protg of Konstantin Stanislavski. When she emerged in the American theatre, her first book, The Stanislavski Method (later revised as The Stanislavski System), was written to counteract Lee Strasberg's Method. Its publication initiated her quest to reveal Stanislavski's work faithfully and to train American actors in the Method of Physical Actions. Through subsequent books, the Sonia Moore Studio, and her non-profit organization, the American Center for Stanislavski Theatre Art, Sonia Moore sought ways to promote Stanislavski's legacy through her own evolving theory and practice. Yet she is often omitted from the list of notable acting teachers in America, such as Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Uta Hagen, and Sanford Meisner. This book places her appropriately in the company of these teaching legends.
Sonia Moore was a fascinating personality as well as theatre artist. Though charming and charismatic, she was also headstrong and independent. These traits served her well in surviving the Russian Revolution and the Stalinist purges of World War II from which she escaped. Upon her arrival in the United States, she carried a sliver of wood in hand to knock on whenever she confronted the turmoil of life. Some of this turmoil arose as she struggled to find acceptance for her interpretation of Stanislavski's Method of Physical Actions, a technique she believed necessary for the artistic vigor of the American theatre.
As former students and teachers of the Sonia Moore Studio, Suzanne Trauth and Elizabeth Stroppel are uniquely positioned to undertake a study of Moore's work. Their book illuminates Moore's life and analyzes her texts, her research, and her teaching in a comprehensive manner, thus providing practitioners and educators with detailed knowledge of Sonia Moore, her professional persona, and the woman behind it.