From Stanislavsky to Demidov

The Acting Technique That Has Been Silenced for 70 years, Returns to Russia!

The Demidov Summer School introduces a unique acting technique that received its inception in the very depth of the Stanislavsky System. Its creator, Nikolai Demidov, was Stanislavsky’s closest associate, for over 30 years, and one of the three original teachers of the Stanislavsky System.

We do not promise that the Demidov technique will help you to win an Oscar. Instead, we guarantee in depth, scrupulous work on your inner instrument, and on the unobstructed flow of your creativity. We will help you touch upon the ancient secret of the actors’ guild, uncovered by Nikolai Demidov. This secret allows you, the actor, to trace the origin of those sparks of inspiration that led you to our profession in the first place.
The great masters of the Russian theatre shared one common goal – to discover the ways toward sincere living onstage, in character, and to teach the actor how to truly see and hear onstage. While acknowledging the tremendous power of the actor’s creative nature, Stanislavsky also considered it fickle, and therefore not fully reliable. This is why, he tried to invoke it through well-known imperative means, such as “action”, “tasks” and “wants”.

Demidov, who was the only professional psychologist among the masters of the Russian theatre, took a different approach. He discovered the means to remove those obstacles standing in the way of the actor’s subconscious creativity, thus clearing the path for the Creative Nature itself. Additionally, he designed unique exercises - the so-called “Demidov etudes” and “scales”. These exercises give the artist the capacity to cultivate specific actorly qualities, and to pave the way for the sustainable actor’s creative state.
While Stanislavsky’s work stopped at the brink of these discoveries, Demidov took the next step toward harnessing subconscious creativity.

For almost 70 years, those of Stanislavsky’s followers who misconstrued the relationship between Stanislavsky and Demidov, did everything in their power to discredit the new technique, and to prevent Demidov’s books from publication.

During the last decade, however, this historical injustice has been corrected. Several volumes of materials from the extensive Demidov Archive have been published both in Russian and English, with new materials being prepared for publication. Simultaneously, in the United States, the Demidov School has been resurrected, in practice, by theatre director and teacher Andrei Malaev-Babel. In the last few years, Professor Malaev-Babel has been regularly visiting Russia with lectures and master-classes. These visits, however short, inspired a group of actors and teachers, who have become enthusiastic followers of the Demidov School. This summer, thanks to the efforts of the American teacher’s followers and students, the First Demidov Summer School will commence in the Moscow suburb of Puschino. This years’s program is titled From Stanislavsky to Demidov.

We offer two tracks of training:
– A course dedicated to the revival of the Demidov School, taught by Andrei Malaev-Babel, the foremost authority on Demidov, and the chief editor and translator of the Demidov heritage in English (Becoming an Actor-Creator, Routledge, 2016). Classes for the international group of participants will be conducted in English.
– A specialized course, dedicated to the Stanislavsky heritage, conducted by Veniamin Filshtinsky, one of the leading Demidov proponents in Russia, and the author of Open Pedagogy. This course will be conducted in Russian, without translation.
These courses have been designed with actors, directors and teachers of theatre in mind. However, the First Demidov Summer School will also offer courses in the art of communication and theatrical psychotherapy, designed for the representatives of other professions.