The Legacy of Modern Acting
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Chapter 12 revisits one of the book’s central questions, how did Modern acting principles become invisible while Method acting became part of American popular culture? To answer this question, the chapter considers complications created by Strasberg’s self-proclaimed affiliation with Stanislavsky, and by changes in the performing arts business that affected Americans’ perceptions about actors and acting. It also explores the effects of the Cold War ideas that led Method acting to be associated with a certain (white, masculine, youthful) form of “American” vitality. To illuminate the overlooked legacy of the Modern acting strategies that coalesced in the 1930s and 1940s, the chapter identifies ways that contemporary actors use Modern acting techniques to create performances for a range of theatrical venues and a variety of screen formats.