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Stanislavsky in the World: The System and its Transformations across Continents (Bloomsbury, 2017)

Edited by Dr Stefan Aquilina (University of Malta) and Prof. Jonathan Pitches (University of Leeds), Stanislavsky in the World is the first book that maps the movement of Stanislavsky’s system of performer training across five continents, revealing undiscovered paths of transmission and examining wider questions of embodied history and tradition building. To make its point, it focuses on practices beyond Russia and the US – for too long accepted blindly as the two most-developed seats of Stanislavskian practice – and introduces readers and practitioners to new routes in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and South (Latin) America. In doing so the editors are joined by an international network of 18 scholars and practitioners to take on some knotty and current questions – of transformation, translation, appropriation and resistance. The book makes a significant contribution to theatre studies but recent research on performance and interculturalism, globalisation, and postcolonialism will also be boosted by these findings.

More information about the book can be found here, or by contacting the co-editors on or

Contributions include:

  • Marie-Christine Autant-Mathieu’s discussion of selected affinities between Stanislavsky and the French Theatre Tradition;

  • Siyuan Liu’s analysis of Stanislavsky’s impact on a Chinese School of Performance and Directing;

  • Raúl Serrano’s teacher-perspective on current Stanislavskian teaching at the Escuela de Teatro de Buenos Aires in Argentina;

  • Moez Mrabet’s discussion of Stanislavsky’s impact on both modern theatre and contemporary actor training in Tunisia;

  • Hilary Halba’s account on the System experienced through the Maori World in New Zealand;

  • Syed Jamil Ahmed’s articulation of the System as postcolonial appropriation and assimilation in Bangladesh.

Prof. Christopher Balme, current Chair in Theatre Studies at the University of Munich and former president of the International Federation for Theatre Research, had the following to say on the book: 


Although theatre is the most local of art forms, this important collection documents how the Stanislavsky system became a major force in theatrical globalization in the 20th century. From Malta to Bangladesh to China it shows how actors and pedagogues came to share a common artistic vocabulary.  

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