Originally published by HowlRound on June 13, 2019.

actingbooks

#MeToo has raised many questions about what kinds of intimacy are created in rehearsal rooms and classrooms, and to what end. As I’ve listened to the stories of survivors, I’ve been struck by the fact that the abusers in these cases, mostly men, weren’t doing anything that their predecessors in the American theatre didn’t do openly and without repercussions. At least three of the fathers of the American Method—Lee Strasberg, Sanford Meisner, and Elia Kazan—had reputations for treating men and women differently, as well as for treating both women actors and women characters as sex objects. It made me wonder: Is there a connection between use of the Method and the behavior called out by #MeToo?

Since the 1930s, American theatre has been operating under the spell of the oh-so-seductive Method, a psychological acting technique that …

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