Redefining Acting

The Implications of the Meisner Method
  • Brant L. Pope


Untold wealth would be mine had I a dollar for every prospective student of the Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training who claimed to have studied “a little Meisner.” This superficial spin on the Meisner technique causes me to wonder how a physics professor would respond to an applicant who boasted of studying “a little gravity.” Perhaps for some, Meisner training is like a special spice that a chef has on his shelf, and when he cooks up a “Meisner dish” he uses the Meisner spice; then when he is finished cooking the dish, he goes back to the “regular” stuff. For an acting conservatory that defines itself as a Meisner program, these preliminary impressions of our methodology are rather humbling. While it is certainly possible to reject the fundamental tenets of Meisner-based work, it is difficult to comprehend how principles this radical and transformational (once adopted) could be inconsistently applied to dramatic material. So, as the physics professor might say, if gravity works, it works all the time.


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  1. 3.
    Larry Silverberg, in The Sanford Meisner Approach (Lyme, NH: Smith and Kraus, 1994)Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman (New York: Dramatists Play Service, 1980), 14–15.Google Scholar

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© David Krasner 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brant L. Pope

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