The characters in the Greek tragedies in light of Stanislavski and Maria Knebel’s “system”

April 12 - 23, 2021

Worskhop directed by Tatiana Stepantchenko

Duration: 60 hours

The course will take place from Monday 12 to Friday 23 April with the following hours: Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday from 10 am to 5 pm with one hour break; Thursday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Price: 600€ (individuals), 1200€ (organisms)

The work will be about the characters in Euripide’s tragedies (Hecuba, The Trojan Women, Hippolyta)

The approach of the play, the scenes and the characters will be following the method of active-analysis, as I’ve been taught by Maria O. Knebel.

When we talk about the “system”, we directly think of Stanislavski. But besides the myth he became, what do we really know about him ? What do we know about his successors, that has developed his work, and about Maria O. Knebel, the “guardian of the temple”, former assistant of Stanislavski and Michael Tchekhov ? Maria Knebel has trained various generations of the grandest actors and directors of contemporary theatre in Russia, and I am proud to have been her student.

The method of Active Analysis is linked to her name. We could call it a “freefoot” analysis as we say in Russia (just as we say “freehand” for drawing or painting), in other words, that implies lightness, imagination and pleasure. To practice this method, it is necessary to go back to the “fundamentals”, to know better, to release the imagination, invent and built. These basics are easy to understand but more complex to integrate and perform.

As a first step, there is a need to rethink the basic principles of Stanislavski’s system, the inner motives, the subtext, the inter-relations, the character, the “super-objective”, the given circumstances and the impact of the “REVERSAL POINT” on the action of the character-actor. During our workshop, this rethinking will be short, concentrated and indicative compared to the years of training in a Russian school of theatre.

This work will be preceded by a specific physical training which is the result of my own synthesis of the methods of Stanislavski, Meyerhold, Michael Tchekhov and obviously Maria O. Knebel ; enhanced by some technical elements from the “Tanztheater”

After that, we will dive into the process of approaching the roles.

The first plan comes from the analysis of the “dramaturgic material” – focusing mainly on Euripide – by following the basics principles outlined above.

The second plan, as defined by Maria Knebel, is the actor’s one: his inner and intimate experience, that supports him while entering the play, composed of all the different elements of his own biography, his own personality, including his entire emotional capital, all the shades of his feelings, of his perception of the world and the others, his thoughts and his psycho-physical plasticity. To castigate all the easy clichés, Stanislavski used to say: “we don’t enter the skin of the character, because it doesn’t have skin – we converge towards each other”

These two plans, the one of the actor and the one of the character, will “converge” to initiate what is the essence of the actor’s work: building a character. Therefore, the art of the actor consists in finding the perfect balance, the Omega Point, in other words the perfection of the complexity of the relation between his own psychophysical experience of life and the one of the play’s character. As actors, this quest is the most exciting path in our work.

The characters in Greek Tragedy, including the female characters, are probably the hardest ones to comprehend and perform, because they are so pure they don’t suffer of any parasitism or superficiality. By their biography and their psyche, they all bear a grand part of mystery within themselves, which neither scholarly study nor psychoanalyze would be able to totally elucidate. We will try to explore this mystery – and may be to decipher it.

Tatiana Stepantchenko

Tatiana Stepantchenko

Actress, director and theater teacher

Originally from Siberia, musical training at the Higher Institute of Music in Yaroslav (piano and conducting). Theater training at GITIS Moscow in the “Actors and Directors Class” of ** Maria Knebel **, then with the educational “triumvirate” Natalia Zvereva, Leonid Kheifetz and Oleg Kudriachov. After a five-year engagement with the TRA Moscow Theater Ensemble, continues an intense career as a theater actress in Germany, France and Russia; and cinema in Moscow, Berlin and Munich.

Teaches until 2018 and for 7 years at ETI (European Theater Institute in Berlin), of which she is also a member of the Management Board; previously, associated artist for 10 years at the Phénix (Scène Nationale de Valenciennes) she created and directed the Studio-Phénix of permanent training for professional actors; and for 4 years, she held a permanent professorship at the prestigious Munich Theater Academy.

In addition to France and Germany, she directs numerous actor seminars in Poland, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Brazil - and has produced more than twenty international productions in France and Germany.


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Reservation & Application

For more information, to enroll or book a workshop, internship, event, call us up +33 (0)1 43 98 20 61 or via e-mail.

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Whatever your status, your training can be taken care of: inquire with Afdas, Pôle Emploi, your OPCA (for beneficiaries) or for more information contact us.