“The division [into units] is temporary. The part and the play must not remain in fragments. A broken statue, or a slashed canvas, is not a work of art. It is only in the preparation of a role that we use small units. During its actual creation they fuse into large units.”
Units of Action
: an examination of the play text though a division of the spoken words and actions into units
The idea of ‘Units’ prevents actors from overlooking the play text and helps them to portray their character in detail
In his book, ‘An Actor prepares’ Stanislavski claims that all minor “objectives, imaginative thoughts, feelings and actions of an actor” within the play should be connected to the ultimate objective of the play.
All the actions and words are inextricably intertwined, so that even tiny single insignificant factor will stand out as ‘superfluous’.
This is what Stanislavsky drew to explain how minors lines are headed towards the super objective
Connection between the Super objective and the Actioning Verbs
Setting an action verb, or transitive verb, in front of each lines guides actors in terms of emotions, actions, gestures and feelings. An actioning verb serves as an reminder of the super objective. Especially, an actioning verb can aid us-non native English speakers- a lot in deepening our understanding of the play text and characters. We, therefore, can extend our acting skill to a wider area. From audience perspective, the super objective and actioning verbs give clarity to the play, making the audience communicable with the actors and play. Eventually, acting based on actioning verbs will usher in a sense of conceptual unity to our play – the Maids.
- Stanislavsky, An Actor Prepares