List of acting techniques

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The following is a partial list of major acting techniques.


  • Classical acting is an umbrella term for a philosophy of acting that integrates the expression of the body, voice, imagination, personalizing, improvisation, external stimuli, and script analysis. It is based on the theories and systems of select classical actors and directors including Konstantin Stanislavski and Michel Saint-Denis.
  • In Stanislavski's system, also known as Stanislavski's method, actors draw upon their own feelings and experiences to convey the "truth" of the character they are portraying. The actor puts himself or herself in the mindset of the character finding things in common in order to give a more genuine portrayal of the character.
  • Method acting is a range of techniques used to assist acting persons in understanding, relating to and the portrayal of their character/s, as formulated by Lee Strasberg. Strasberg's method is based upon the idea that in order to develop an emotional and cognitive understanding of their roles, actors should use their own experiences to identify personally with their characters. It is based on aspects of Stanislavski's system. Other acting techniques are also based on Stanislavski's ideas, such as those of Stella Adler and Sanford Meisner, but these are not considered "method acting".[1]
  • Meisner technique requires the actor to focus totally on the other actor as though he or she is real and they only exist in that moment. This is a method that makes the actors in the scene seem more authentic to the audience. It is based on the principle that acting finds its expression in people's response to other people and circumstances. It is based on Stanislavski's system.
  • Practical Aesthetics is an acting technique originally conceived by David Mamet and William H. Macy, based on the teachings of Stanislavsky, Sanford Meisner, and the Stoic philosopher Epictetus.[2] Some key features of the method include a particular method of script analysis, adaptability, and repetition exercises similar to those in Meisner technique.[3]
  • The Brechtian Method Bertolt Brecht developed a style "epic drama," that relies on the audience's reflective detachment rather than emotional involvement.[4]


  1. ^ "What It Means To Be 'Method'". Tribeca Film Institute. 
  2. ^ Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher (October 23, 1997). "A Dramatist's How-To Guide for the Stage-Struck". The New York Times. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  3. ^ Acting Truthfully. "Practical Aesthetics". 
  4. ^ "Brechtian". Retrieved 2018-07-09.