Prof. Maria Shevtsova
Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
Prof. Maria Shevtsova
Maria Shevtsova is Professor of Drama and Theatre Arts at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she is also the Director of the Sociology of Theatre and Performance Research Group. Her research profile is broad and, apart from Stanislavsky, it also covers contemporary European theatre, including Russian theatre and Russia's youngest generation of directors. Her books and other publications have been translated in 14 languages. Through her position as editor of the influential New Theatre Quarterly, Professor Shevtsova has contributed to further develop the field of theatre and performance and its scholarship. She is also on the editorial board of the Stanislavski Studies journal and on the Board of the Stanislavsky Russian Centre. Professor Shevtsova also does considerable outreach and multimedia work, including international radio, television and talks streamed online, programme notes, post-performance discussions and public lectures at theatre festivals, and post-performance interviews and conversations with contemporary actors and directors.
Konstantin Stanislavsky (1863–1938) was one of the most innovative and influential directors of modern theatre and his system and related practices continue to be studied and used by actors, directors and students. Maria Shevtsova sheds new light on the extraordinary life of Stanislavsky, uncovering and translating Russian archival sources, rehearsal transcripts, production scores and plans. This comprehensive study rediscovers little-known areas of Stanislavsky's new type of theatre and its immersion in the visual arts, dance and opera. It demonstrates the fundamental importance of his Russian Orthodoxy to the worldview that underpinned his integrated System and his goals for the six laboratory research studios that he established or mentored. Stanislavsky's massive achievements are explored in the intricate and historically intertwined political, cultural and theatre contexts of Tsarist Russia, the 1917 Revolution, the volatile 1920s, and Stalin's 1930s. His wide-ranging legacy is traced through the twentieth century and within the twenty-first through the perspective of Shevtsova’s expertise in the work of contemporary theatre directors. Rediscovering Stanislavsky provides a completely fresh perspective on his work and legacy.