Author(s)Carazo Aguilera, Javier
Contributor(s)Peral Vega, Emilio
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AbstractThis year 2015 marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment in Spain of the first theatre academy whose methodological principles for actors were based on the Stanislavski system —although transformed by the perspective of the Method, developed in America by the Group Theatre during the 1930s and then implanted in some famous schools such as the Actor’s Studio—. It was in October 1960 when the American actor, teacher and director William Layton (1913-1995) opened the Teatro Estudio de Madrid (TEM). By then, he had already been living in Spain for two years. In that adventure Layton was accompanied by the Spanish Miguel Narros (a stage director) and the American Elizabeth H. Buckley. This private academy began its activity by offering the Method, a discipline that Layton had learned in his country with Sandford Meisner; one member of the Group Theatre along with Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Harold Clurmann or Elia Kazan. Thanks to the TEM, concepts till then completely unknown in Spanish academic venues for actors such as organicity, truth, mood, sensory memory, etc., started being implemented in the theatrical interpretation. Firstly, in exercises of improvisation; secondly, in scenes and characters; and finally, after a time of performing, those concepts were tested in the scenarios, by display to the public, which is the biggest challenge for any actor, author or director. That way, a singular model of interpretation, a naturalistic type, which have prevailed in the West over other ways of interpreting, came to Spain. A system (which could be defined as organic interpretation) that had been systematized by the Russian Konstantin Stanislavski in the early twentieth century and rapidly was exported abroad by some of his first students: Richard Boleslavsky, Maria Ouspenskaya, Michael Chekhov, Pietro Scharoff, P. Pauloff... Its popularity in the USA increased mainly due to the Actor’s Studio and also thanks to professor Lee Strasberg, through the famous Method working. While in 1960 Layton founded in Madrid the TEM, together with Narros and Buckley, the Brechtian technique was arriving to Barcelona. In that city, Ricard Salvat —who had trained in Germany— and Maria Aurélia Capmany opened the School of Dramatic Art Adrià Gual (EADAG). From Catalonia and over the years, this center will project the first formulas about “distancing”. That way, after decades of delay, that same year 1960 landed in Spain two key trends that shaped and influenced the development of Western theatrical art in the first half of the twentieth century. SYNTHESIS: The knowledge and deep analysis of William Layton’s work as acting teacher in Spain will allow us to get closer to a major figure in the history of theater education in our country. Our main goal is to demonstrate that he was responsible for breaking the isolation that, from secular times, suffered the training of actors in Spain. Layton not only did achieve that, but did it consistently, without interruption. Also, by analyzing his work as stage manager, we will discover how this methodology was implemented in two aspects regarding the theatrical play: in the actor himself and in the dramatic text...