On the Acting

Àkzeptanz Performing Arts Association

Ein Association aus RWTH Aachen


AAchen-Germany 2015

“I wish the stage were as narrow

as the wire of a tightrope dancer,

so that no incompetent

would dare step upon it.”


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 – 1832):

Wilhelm Meisters Lebrjahre; book 4, chapter 2

(this quotation was framed and hung on the

wall in Sanford Meisner’s office).

Stage © 2014

As opposed to "the method," which develops acting from an internal source, through emotional recall, sense memory, etc, this technique creates the actor externally. The focus is for the actor to "get out of his head," such that he or she is behaving instinctively.

To this end, some exercises for the Meisner technique are rooted in repetition so that the words are deemed insignificant compared to the reactions.


Meisner developed this technique after working with Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler at the Group Theatre and while working as head of the acting program at New York City's Neighborhood Playhouse. He continued its refinement for fifty years.






The Meisner technique is a progressive system of structured improvisations for developing concentration and imagination, stimulating instincts and impulses, and achieving “the reality of doing” in performance; an acting technique developed by the American theatre practitioner Sanford Meisner. (August 31, 1905 – February 2, 1997)


In Meisner’s view, great acting depends on the actor’s impulsive response to what’s happening around him. His key exercise, spontaneous repetition, is designed for the actor to develop that dormant capacity.


Meisner’s approach trains the actor to “live truthfully under imaginary circumstances,” to discover or create personally meaningful points of view with respect to the (written or improvised) word, and to express spontaneous human reactions and authentic emotion with the utmost sense of truth.



Acting is Behaving truthfully in imaginary circumastances.

If you have the emotion, it infects you and the audience.

If you don't have it, don't bother.

Just say your lines as truthfully as you are capable of doing.

You can't fake emotion. Sanford Meisner

Sanford Meisner

Acting Behaving Happening ...

Àkzeptanz Team